By Carol Round, Special to ASSIST News Service
CLAREMORE, OK (ANS – November 1, 2015) — “Day by day the Lord observes the good deeds done by godly men, and gives them eternal rewards”— Psalm 37:18 (TLB).
Barefooted and clad in a sheet, the man shuffled across the street. With head down, his demeanor suggested someone who was lost. This photo of humanity had been captured by a Tulsa World photographer and was plastered across the top inside page of a recent Sunday newspaper.
After snapping the photo, the curious photographer wanted to know the rest of the story. Why was this man walking across the street with a sheet around his shoulders? Upon approaching him, the photographer discovered the man had just been released from a criminal justice center early that morning, wearing nothing but a pair of shorts.
The man had called an ambulance in an attempt to get a night’s hospital stay. In addition to the ambulance, the police showed up. According to the man’s story, authorities then arrived and gave him a sheet to protect him from the cold until he could eat breakfast at a local soup kitchen and food pantry when it opened.
When the photographer first spotted the sheet-clad man, he said, “(It was) incredible for me because of the religious implications, but it was unusual to see a barefoot man walking down the street wrapped in a sheet.”
Perhaps, it would be easy to judge this man who had obviously been in trouble with the law. Some might. We could shake our heads and wonder what happened that had led him to this point.
In John 4:1-15, we read the story of Jesus and the woman of Samaria who had come at noon to draw water from the well. Jesus was already there, resting when she arrived. He said to her, “Give me a drink.”
The woman was curious because Jews, especially a Jewish rabbi, did not associate with Samaritans. When she pointed out this fact to Jesus, He replied, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”
The woman had more questions for Jesus. He replies, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.”
Jesus offers each of us His living water, including the sheet-clad barefooted man just released from jail. There are no limits to God’s amazing grace.
I remember reading the story of a man who was traveling in Kenya where he met a refugee from Zimbabwe. The refugee said he hadn’t eaten anything in over three days and looked thin and unhealthy. The traveler offered him the rest of the sandwich he was eating. The first thing the refugee said was, “We can share it.”
Sharing the Living Water with another lost soul is better than any well-preached sermon. The barefooted, sheet-clad man just might agree.
Photo: Carol Round.
** You can republish this or any of our ANS stories with attribution to the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net)