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.

Today, I Danced with Jesus. His Name is Ken.


One word made my day, today. One word….spoken while I was….dancing with Jesus.

Not much traffic this morning, until I reached the tollway exit.  Only 2 more lights to traverse before turning into my office.  A long line of cars greeted me at the first one. Three of four red light cycles would ensue.  Ahead, I could see a homeless man slowly wending his way along the line of possible donors.  He carried the standard cardboard sign.  It notified any who didn’t look away that he was a disabled veteran, homeless and hungry.

He’d made his first appearance at this street corner maybe two or three weeks ago.  A newcomer.  During that time, on a few occasions, I’d managed to roll down my motorized window and from my air conditioned comfort handed him a $1 dollar bill. Quite generous of me.  As he graciously accepted my paltry gift, a warm and grateful smile lit up his dripping face.  Houston summers are known for unrelenting heat, humidity and sizzling sunshine, except when it’s pouring down rain.  We chatted each time.  I sincerely wanted to recognize him and engage in pleasantries.

Today, much the same scene played out. I in my comfort, he in the heat.

Sam:  Seems pretty hot today.
Homeless Man:  Yeah. But, it’s not raining.
Sam:  How are you doing today?
Homeless Man:  The Lord is watching over me.
Sam:  I’ve forgotten your name.
Homeless Man:  Ken.
Sam:  Do you remember my name?
Homeless Man:  SAM.

Immediately, a tear graced my eye.  A homeless man, immersed in heat and humidity, remembered MY name.  It touched me deeply.

Aren’t we taught that Jesus knows each of us intimately, loves us dearly, knows us by our name?  Could it be that this soft-spoken homeless man, humbly living and humbly making his living…..was…..Jesus?  He knew my name!  He remembered my name!  He uttered my name!

A few hours later, I walked back to that, now special, intersection. Ken was still there, plying his trade. We talked about his history. His military service.  His injury.  Where he slept.  His plans.  His challenges.  I look forward to seeing my friend again.  He has lifted me more than he knows.  Or maybe he does.

“Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, ye have done it unto me.”

Today, MY name was spoken while I danced with Jesus.