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One Dollar Bill - Thursday, April 19th, 2007

“And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury. And He saw a poor widow putting in two small copper coins. And He said, ‘Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all of them; for they all out of their surplus put into the offering; but she out of her poverty put in all that she had to live on.’”
Luke 21:1-4

Have you ever just made time for someone when it didn’t make sense? Have you ever just stopped what you were doing to listen to someone talk? Well, lately I have been feeling convicted because I haven’t been doing much of that. I have always been “on the go.” I always “think” I have things to get done between the prayer time in the morning and the evening worship service. But thankfully, the Lord has made me slow down. And one situation in particular comes to mind. Last night around 6:00 p.m. I was walking through the TENT when I ran into an elderly man named Billy. I have seen Billy before but never took the time to talk to him INSIDE THE TENT, even though he has been coming almost every evening. He is an older man with large glasses, friendly smile, and a calm demeanor. He always carries his Bible in hand. There is something different about this man. There is something unique about his personality. So I stopped the “hustle-and-bustle” of preparing a tent-revival and decided to sit down with Billy.

But what I found out from Billy was not what I was expecting. I found out that Billy is homeless and has been for the past six months. He lives under a highway bridge a couple of blocks away. If you saw him, he would look like an older white man with years of experience, but not homeless. I don’t know why I was shocked, but I was when I found out that he had no address. I have interacted with enough homeless throughout my time in Dallas, but he didn’t strike me as someone without a roof. Someone without constant food. Someone who had no bed. He appeared to be calm. He appeared to be at peace. So I asked him about his story. How did he end up on the streets? And he was gracious enough to explain his story. This past year he got a divorce from his wife of 6 years, moved from Florida to be with his sister in the Dallas area, got into a fist-fight with his sister’s boyfriend, got thrown into jail, labeled as a criminal, and now can’t find work. Yet, he appears to be content. Yeah he would love to have a home and steady income, but never once did I hear him complain. Never once did I hear him ask me for money. (Both unusual when dealing with the homeless.) He explained that the Lord is getting him through these times. It is because of Jesus he is able to get by each day.

He has experience in working in warehouses, but a door hasn’t opened. Except twice a week, Billy heads out to a suburb where a childhood friend lets him come out to the house and shower. They give him some food and some money to get by for the week. This is why he doesn’t look homeless. Yet he lives on the streets. When it is cold, when it is raining, when it is hot, when it is dry, it doesn’t matter the weather conditions ~ Billy has no home. He doesn’t own anything except what he can carry in his bag. And yet by the end of our conversation, Billy opened up his wallet. A friend of his, who also lives on the streets (who can’t make it to the evening worship services) wanted to show his support by financially giving to the tent-revival. So Billy handed me one dollar bill. Billy could have kept it for himself. He needs food. He needs clothing. Yet, Billy handed me the lone dollar bill from his fellow homeless friend. Immediately I thought of the poor widow that Jesus spoke of. The author Luke wrote, “And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury. And He saw a poor widow putting in two small copper coins. And He said, ‘Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all of them; for they all out of their surplus put into the offering; but she out of her poverty put in all that she had to live on.’” Please don’t hear me say that I am not grateful for others who have given generously and abundantly, nor taking away from the amounts they gave. But for some reason, when I received this dollar bill, I knew it was given out of the sincerity and genuineness of their faith in Jesus Christ. These two men were willing to give everything they had for the sake of the kingdom of God. How humbling to be a part of something where even two homeless men are willing to support our efforts in bringing a life-transformation to the city of Dallas. Praise Jesus.

So write about Billy? Because more than anything, this one dollar bill forced me to ask myself, “Am I giving everything I have for the sake of Christ? And I am not just talking finances, I am talking about my life, my actions, my attitude. Does my life sacrificially reveal that I am “sold-out” for Jesus?” I hope it does, and I hope each of your lives does as well. Just a thought.
- klm

" We cannot organize revival, but we can set our sails to catch the wind from Heaven when God chooses to blow upon His people once again."

- G. Campbell Morgan