I was riding on the bus the other day and a guy got on to ask for some money. I’ve written about people like him before. There is a constant stream of people either selling or begging on the buses. Some sing for money, some rap, some should not sing but do, some just give their plea.

When this guy got on the bus, I happened to have my headphones in listening to worship music. I took one earbud out to listen to what he had to say. He had some medical needs and needed money to pay for the bills and medicine to take away his pain. He then showed us all his injury. His leg was black and blue and he’d just had surgery I suppose because there was some sort of supporting rod system through his leg. I looked away immediately. I’m a bit squeamish when it comes to blood and guts and things that look like they hurt. He came by and I passed him some money honestly just hoping he’d pass quickly so I didn’t have to see that painful sight again. Well after he collected money from everyone, he came and sat down next to me. WHAT? There are other seats, you know.

The injured leg was right next to mine. I just continued to listen to my worship music. I thought to myself, “I really should take time to talk to him and find out what happened and maybe even pray for healing with him.” But I kept silent and kept “worshiping.” I then thought how can I sit here and listen to worship music and refuse a possible/probable nudge of the Holy Spirit. I thought about what Jesus might do and pictured Him in my seat instead. I thought he’d surely reach over and heal the man.

I remained silent though. I wish I could say I did what I pictured Jesus would do if He was in my situation. I didn’t move. As the guy hobbled off the bus, a song came on that says, “May we know your love, feel it course through our veins, encircling our hearts and embracing our souls. We need your love and grace to remain and to rearrange our hearts…. and change the way we praise.”  Made me think of this verse…

Matthew 5:16

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (NIV)

14-16 Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven. (Message)

Sometimes when I interact with people like this or even the orphans that I’m getting to know more and more, I think to myself, “I am not cut out for this!” or “I’m not nearly noble enough…” I love to spend money. I love to enjoy nice things. I do love the idea of helping the needy but when that means more than liking a status on Facebook or tossing a coin, it can be very scary.

I think we ought to look the needy (not just in need of money) in the eye, say hello, and find out for what purpose they’ve come into our world for that moment. If we do that, I bet we won’t regret saying or doing something and it will cause men to praise God (see Matt. 5 above).

When he sat next to me, he began to count the money he’d collected so far that day. He had at least 100 soles (which is about enough to live the whole week). I’m sure he was in need financially but probably more in need of a touch from God.

Can’t go back to that bus ride, but I can speak up in the future!


  1. Spending lots of time with the orphans, getting to know them and their stories.
  2. I live on the roof of an older couple’s house. It’s the couple and Mary’s mom. The mom passed away this morning. Please pray for Mary and the fam to have comfort from the Lord. She was 98 so they knew it was coming, but it is still hard.
  3. Unfortunately only two people were on board to come on a trip here in March so we’re unable to do that. If you’d like to bring a group though, we’re here.  : )

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