Dancing With Jesus—And Twenty-Five Men

day-laborersThis morning my heart prodded me to follow an example I had witnessed almost 40 years ago. Those long years ago, I had marveled at a man dancing with Jesus.

Getting Gas

I stopped to get gas at the corner of Bellaire and the Beltway.  I picked this particular station because it’s attached to a McDonalds.  My plan was to fill up and then drive through.

As the gallons pumped into my tank, I surveyed the sidewalks around the station.  Day laborers were strewn about in various positions of sitting & standing, fidgeting & fretting.  All awaited in uncertain hope that a job might make its appearance.  I wondered…where are they from?  Do jobs come along every day?  What if no truck pulls up?  Do they have children, spouses or parents who are depending on them?

Elections are upon us.  Immigration has remained unsolved for decades.  And…here…THEY…are.  The very men about whom we debate and banter and grandstand.  Human beings.  No different from me…except in circumstance.  Like me, they must have hopes and dreams.  They are hard workers…without work.  They have thinking brains.  But, what are the thinking about?  My stomach growls.  Does their stomach growl?

gift-cardsShould I Dance?

The nozzle clicks off.  The tank is full.  I survey again and take a count.  Twenty-five men.  Do I just drive away?  Do I just get on with my day?  Or do I take this chance to embrace Jesus and dance?

Oh…the choice.  And what a choice choice it was.  Into McDonalds I walked.  I emerged with 30 gift cards in hand.  The real gift was not given BY me.  It was given TO me.  Twenty-five men.  Apprehensive at first.  Then faces beaming with smiles, light and joy.  We talked in their native tongue.  We laughed.  We joked.  All were from Spanish speaking lands.  El Salvador, Mexico, Guatemala, & Honduras.  One lone straggler from the isle of Cuba.

I’ll likely never see or hear of these twenty-five men again.  Nor they of me.  But, this morning we broke bread together.  I danced with Jesus.  Those corners spilling over with hopeful laborers will never be viewed the same again.

6 thoughts on “Dancing With Jesus—And Twenty-Five Men

  1. So kind, Sam! Folks need to look at reality – try watching a house being built – look at how many of the men doing the back breaking work are Hispanic – watch a pool or a landscape being created – look at how many of the workers are Hispanic. The contractors are the people not following the law initially – I completely understand why these men, desperate to support their families back home – take the work being offered by the American bosses allowing it. Thanks for your Christlike example!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can’t say that I am “a republican” anymore (and it started way before Trump), but I listened to what I consider a wise conservative radio show. I was surprised when he was very honest and said, “If I were in their shoes, I would do EXACTLY what many immigrants do.” As I thought about it I realized that if I were honest AND A GOOD FAMILY MAN (willing to do what was needed for my family) then I too would be doing it.

    I love the gift card idea. I heard a social worker say that giving money to homeless people is a bad idea and there are many better ways to help them. I came up with the idea of grabbing a stack of $10 McDonald’s gift cards and keeping them in my car so that when I see someone that looks like they are really in need, I can hand these out. There is almost always a McDonald’s close. Just the other day I saw a man with his wife and kids. I don’t know if he really needed it, but call me selfish because it felt so good TO ME to give him and his little kids a few cards so they could at least have lunch on me. It felt better than any $30 meal I have ever eaten.


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