Every Saturday morning we have prayer at my church. Although it is a large church, relatively few people show up for Saturday morning prayer. It is usually the same people each week. I am accustomed to the familiar faces.
Today there was a new face. As soon as he walked in he stood out. He was a bit disheveled in appearance. He didn’t bring a Bible, but had a newspaper in his hand. Several times during the prayer service, he walked uncomfortably close to the platform where our worship leader was sitting. It was disconcerting. I was not the only one that noticed.
I stayed around for a few minutes after the prayer meeting. Others had gone into a pastoral ministry training session. As I walked out to my car I noticed that the man had gone out to his vehicle and was coming back into the church. I passed by him on my way out.
As I drove home, I wondered what this man’s story was. He seemed so out of place. Why was he at our church that morning? Did he know Jesus? And I will never know because I didn’t bother to find out. My scheduled religious activity had been completed and I had other things to attend to. This man and his needs did not make it to the top of my list of priorities. To be honest, he didn’t make it onto the list at all.
I drove home completely ashamed, aware that sharing only a few minutes of my time with this man may have made an eternal difference. I can only pray someone else this morning reached out to the man. But I fear that they may have been too busy receiving training on how to care for people.
God help us.