The Lesson I Learned From A Woman On The Street

The Lesson I Learned From A Woman On The Street

"I continued to think about this woman the rest of that night and the next morning."

It was a Wednesday night. I had just finished getting dinner with some friends downtown to celebrate a birthday. My roommate and I paid our bill, left the restaurant and headed down the block to her car. As we were walking, a woman approached and I knew she was going to say something to us, just as she had to a girl who had already passed by. She had a scarf wrapped over her head, sweats on, and looked intently at us. "Could you help me get something to eat?," she said. We paused and I spoke up and said, "I don't have any cash, I'm sorry." I lied. I had $10 in my wallet. We passed the woman, and stopped at the crosswalk. Ugh I lied, I thought. I didn't know what else to say. I could've easily gotten her something to eat... but I didn't. As we walked, I continued to make up excuses for why I didn't say yes to the woman. I was kind of scared. You never know what people might do. I just spent money on dinner. What if she really didn't need it. Stupid excuses. I pictured how much more it would've meant to the woman if I had said yes, taken her to the restaurant across the street, bought her a burrito, and sat down with her in a booth to ask her about her life. To sit with a stranger and acknowledge that they are somebody, that you care, that they aren't just a needy person on the street continually getting shut down by people who just pass by. I continued to think about this woman the rest of that night and the next morning, I sat at the kitchen table, drinking a cup of coffee, and I thought of the Parable of the Good Samaritan.

“A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers? The expert in the law replied, 'The one who had mercy on him.' Jesus told him, 'Go and do likewise.'" - Luke 10:30-37

Just like the beaten man, the woman I passed was in physical need. Just like the priest and the Levite, I selfishly passed this woman by. I missed an opportunity; an opportunity to witness to the woman, an opportunity for her to possibly see the light of Jesus in someone else, an opportunity to just make her day better, an opportunity for her to know that there are people in this world who care, who will give up the time and the money they have to those in need.

In church on Sunday, I was reminded of this woman again. Pastor J.D. preached about the 8 Beatitudes that Jesus preached to His disciples on the Sermon at the Mount (Matthew 5:1-11).

His commentary on verse 4 especially stuck out to me.

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." - Matthew 5:4

Here's what J.D. had to say,

"Jesus doesn't say why we are mourning here. But mourning goes along with being poor in the spirit. When you feel powerless, weak, and unrighteous you mourn... and God comforts you. But I also think, based on Jesus' future teaching, that mourning means a willingness to enter the pain of others and mourn with them. So write this down: 'Mourning means being relationally connect to others.' I think of Jesus' most famous parable, the Story of the Good Samaritan. Two men pass by, and one stops to help. He didn't have to. He didn't know this guy. There were probably lots of excuses why he shouldn't. He had other stuff to do. It was dangerous. Costly."

Wow, I thought. The fact that the Story of the Good Samaritan has come up twice this week... that is not a coincidence, I know.

God used the woman on the street to remind me to live differently. I will mess up. I am not perfect. None of us are. I do not have to check "helped a woman on the street" on any checklist to earn heaven. By the grace of God, I do not have to rely on myself and the things that I do to gain salvation. But I am reminded that faith without works is dead. And God still calls us, as His disciples, to be set apart. To live our lives in grateful response to the mercy that Jesus has given us. To live differently. I was that woman in the street. I was in need, hungering for something more. Jesus did not pass me by, but He embraced me and all of my imperfections in His arms and showed me mercy.

Lord, help us to be unto others as you have been to us. Teach us how to embrace those who are hurting and those who are in need with open arms. Our world is hurting, our country is hurting, and we know we need you. We need you to intervene, to guide us, and show us how to be a light of You to others. Help us live in response to your grace and when we encounter people in need, give us the ability to say yes. Amen.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

Popular Right Now

When You Give A Girl A Dad

You give her everything

They say that any male can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a dad. That dads are just the people that created the child, so to speak, but rather, dads raise their children to be the best they can be. Further, when you give a little girl a dad, you give her much more than a father; you give her the world in one man.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a rock.

Life is tough, and life is constantly changing directions and route. In a world that's never not moving, a girl needs something stable. She needs something that won't let her be alone; someone that's going to be there when life is going great, and someone who is going to be there for her when life is everything but ideal. Dads don't give up on this daughters, they never will.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a role model.

If we never had someone to look up to, we would never have someone to strive to be. When you give a little girl someone to look up to, you give her someone to be. We copy their mannerisms, we copy their habits, and we copy their work ethic. Little girls need someone to show them the world, so that they can create their own.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her the first boy she will ever love.

And I'm not really sure someone will ever be better than him either. He's the first guy to take your heart, and every person you love after him is just a comparison to his endless, unmatchable love. He shows you your worth, and he shows you what your should be treated like: a princess.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her someone to make proud.

After every softball game, soccer tournament, cheerleading competition, etc., you can find every little girl looking up to their dads for their approval. Later in life, they look to their dad with their grades, internships, and little accomplishments. Dads are the reason we try so hard to be the best we can be. Dads raised us to be the very best at whatever we chose to do, and they were there to support you through everything. They are the hardest critics, but they are always your biggest fans.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a credit card.

It's completely true. Dads are the reason we have the things we have, thank the Lord. He's the best to shop with too, since he usually remains outside the store the entire time till he is summoned in to forge the bill. All seriousness, they always give their little girls more than they give themselves, and that's something we love so much about you.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a shoulder to cry on.

When you fell down and cut yourself, your mom looked at you and told you to suck it up. But your dad, on the other hand, got down on the ground with you, and he let you cry. Then later on, when you made a mistake, or broke up with a boy, or just got sad, he was there to dry your tears and tell you everything was going to be okay, especially when you thought the world was crashing down. He will always be there to tell you everything is going to be okay, even when they don't know if everything is going to be okay. That's his job.

When you give a girl a dad, you give her a lifelong best friend.

My dad was my first best friend, and he will be my last. He's stood by me when times got tough, he carried me when I just couldn't do it anymore, and he yelled at me when I deserved it; but the one thing he has never done was give up on me. He will always be the first person I tell good news to, and the last person I ever want to disappoint. He's everything I could ever want in a best friend and more.

Dads are something out of a fairytale. They are your prince charming, your knight in shinny amour, and your fairy godfather. Dads are the reasons we are the people we are today; something that a million "thank you"' will never be enough for.

Cover Image Credit: tristen duhon

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

5 Facts About Spiritual Gifts That You Need To Know

Different gifts, but from the same Spirit


1 Corinthians 12:4-5 states; "[4] There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. [5] There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord." We see that there are multiple spiritual gifts, but they all come from the same Lord.

1. We all have different gifts and that's okay

Just like a body has different parts that each has its own function, that's like the body of Christ. We all have different gifts and different purposes, but we're all part of the body of Christ. God has a plan for you and has given you certain gifts. God doesn't call the equipped, he equips the calling.

2. There are various spiritual gifts mentioned in the Bible

Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, and Ephesians 4 are some of the bible passages that talk about spiritual gifts. Giving, leadership, mercy, prophecy, service, tongue interpretation, administration, discernment, hospitality, missionary, and evangelism are some of the spiritual gifts that people can have. We can desire any gift, but it's God's choice on what gifts He gives us.

Remember, everyone can receive speaking in tongues via baptism in the Holy Spirit, but not everyone will get the gift of tongue interpretation.

3. Spiritual Gifts are supernatural abilities that are either given or enhanced via the Holy Spirit

God gave us these Spiritual gifts because God wants to invest in His church.

4. Spiritual gifts are for strengthening others

We have spiritual gifts in order to help others.

5. It does take time for gifts to mature and develop

Like with a skill that you have, it does take time for you to own said skill. You put in the work, and because of that, you grow in your skill, and you get better. That's the same way with your gifts. God gives each of us certain gifts to use, and it will take time to mature those gifts.

Spiritual gifts are important.

In Romans 12:6 states; "[6] We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; [7] if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; [8] if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully."

Related Content

Facebook Comments