He Smiled

He held his hat upside down in his hand, feeling the hunger of his belly. One by one the cars drove past him and still he smiled. Inwardly he knew what they must think. He was too lazy to work, he preferred drugs or alcohol, or perhaps he was touched in the head, unacceptable in social circles. Taking a deep breath he again asked for strength beyond this circumstance. Hours passed and he nursed a small bottle of water at his feet. Few persons saw him with eyes of love. Some dropped coins into his head covering out of an obligation to teach their small children buckled in the backseats how to pity the poor. Still he smiled. There were some who taunted him to chase the bills held out of their hands. He did the chase too and smiled while they made a game of it. Hearing their cruel laughter he’d do his best to keep up with the vehicle as it drove faster with a hand holding money at arm’s length. When they were willing to give up the bills he smiled, but even when they only wanted to amuse themselves he shared his smile.

Staying as long as he could, it was time, and he was needed elsewhere. When his water bottle emptied he’d put any coins or bills into his pocket and once more turn the hat upright for covering. With night falling he’d walk up to the top of a small hill nearby, his belly still growling with hunger. Garbage lay strewn all about from other homeless souls, but he enjoyed the aged limbs of an olive tree set over this small valley. Emptying his pockets he spoke aloud, “all for You”.

Looking up he smiled.

Matthew 25:40-45 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and: sisters of mine, you did for me.’ “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’


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