. . . and then some more . . . More life. More Jesus.

The Beautiful Beggar

I’d seen him a few times around the city. He looked normal enough. Except for the sign he held stating his need.

I remember him well. He always looked so sad. Leaning against the wall holding that sign. Early thirties was my guess. Clean cut. Not your normal beggar type.

That’s what struck me. It’s why I remember him. Even after nine whole years.

We walked by one day, both kids in the stroller, headed into a store. We had fresh milk in our basket for the next morning’s cereal. Fresh milk and joy from the provision we’d taken for granted for far too long.

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I’d used my last few coins on the milk, so I had nothing left to give him.

That’s when I realized the Holy Spirit’s nudge, the words spoken by Jesus Christ Himself, “anyone who gives . . . a cup of water in my name . . .”

So I grabbed the milk, walked up to the man on the street, and I asked, 

Would you like some milk?

I will never forget the look on his face. It was as if I had offered dignity in the form of eye-contact and some words.

As I looked him in the eye and smiled, he answered yes and thank you

Sure, that man needed milk. But more than that, I believe he needed to know he’d been noticed. That’s why the Holy Spirit led me to offer it to him. Wanted me to show him Jesus’ love in the form of His attention.

I read the story of Peter and John and the beggar at the Beautiful Gate in Jerusalem, and I can’t help but wonder at Peter’s response when the beggar asked him for money.

Look at us!

They would give him what he needed. Not just money, but the love of the Creator. Not just a word, but the notice of God.

Peter offered this man dignity he’d likely not known for many years, if ever.

Relying on others to carry him to “work” every. single. day. Avoiding eye contact with so many “godly” men who passed through the gate, even as they passed judgment on him for the shame he could not shake.

I read this story about God working through His people, and I wonder at the gift the Holy Spirit gave that beggar that day. Beauty fulfilled in a life restored.

The beautiful beggar noticed by God. Shame erased. Healed completely.

I consider the beggar and wonder at my own need. My own propensity to want to be noticed. I don’t like to admit it, but I’m a beggar, too.

If we look hard enough, I believe we can all find ourselves in that beggar as well. We need more than we know to ask for. More than we could possibly come up with on our own.

But Almighty God always offers abundance. He gives grace beyond our wildest imaginings. Even the grace we don’t realize we need. Healing and life outside the limits of anything we could ask.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think . . . (Ephesians 3:20)

4 Thoughts on “The Beautiful Beggar

  1. This is a beautiful reminder, Bria. Thanks for sharing it and helping me to think about what I truly need. 🙂

  2. Great post Brianna! The fact that you noticed him is huge. I thought of Jesus and how He notices Zaccheus in the tree as I read this. What a shock/blessing for Zacchues to hear Jesus say, “Today I am going to come to your house.”

    • I love Zaccheus! But I always thought it was because he was short like me. 😉 I can’t even imagine the heart-pounding flabergasted he must have felt to realize Jesus Christ not only noticed him but knew his name already! Great thought, Dave. Thank you.

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