Entertaining Strangers
September 25, 2007, 7:49 am
Filed under: life, people

So yesterday for my wife’s birthday we went to the beach. (Since we went to church on Saturday night we were able to go to the beach on a Sunday…something I would have never been able to do before…I felt like such a rebel) The sky was blue with just a few white clouds here and there. There was a gentle breeze constantly flowing gracefully along the sandy beaches that keep you cool and comfortable. The water was clear (if you have ever been to Galveston you know that’s a big deal!) and the beaches were the cleanest I had ever seen them (Adopt a Beach Day was Saturday). We pulled off of I-45 onto 53rd street as usual turned onto the road that drives along the seawall, and looked for a parking spot at our usual location just in front of the San Louis Resort. There were none so we kept driving down the beach until finally we found it. I think it was the only spot still available along the whole beach so we parked and began to get our stuff out. We had never came to this part of the beach before. It was a little smaller and separated from most of the other beaches by a bunch of big rocks and jetty. It seemed less crowded than the other parts and really peaceful so we decided to stay and begin our day.

As we started towards the beach I noticed a man sitting on the beach. He was what you would call a beach bum. By the looks of him you could tell he was probably homeless. He was a little dirty, his hair was ragged and matted and he had it covered by a bandanna, his skin was weathered and dark and had the liking of darkened leather. Next to him layed his towell and a blanket and he just sat there swaying back anf forth.

What I would love to tell you next was that my heart was filled with compassion and love for this man immediately and I couldn’t wait to talk to him and reach out to him. I am a “Christian” by the way.

Instead my initial thoughts were to load back up and look for another spot. I felt sorry for him, but didn’t really want anything to do with him…by the way, I went to the beach to relax and get away, not deal with someone like that.

God forgive me! I felt bad for feeling that way and regretted that this was my initial reaction after so many years of telling teen to “love God; love people”. Isn’t he a person too.

Anyway, we got our stuff and headed to the beach. As we passed by him I looked his way and gave him a friendly smile (what a great guy I am!) and kept going. We set our place up, the kids ran to the water as fast as they could, Debra asked me to take some pictures of her before we got wet or sweaty like you do at the beach, so I got the camera and off we went. As I was taking the pictures I kept glancing back at the rugged man. I couldn’t stop thinking about him being over there. I felt God telling me to talk to him and show him some love. I wanted to, but at the same time I was hesitant. What would I say? Would I be bothering him? What if he didn’t want to talk? Before I could even process all of this my wife looks at me and says, “So that man over there; he’s just like in the book (we’re reading “Irristible Revolution”), do you want to go talk to him?” I hesitated…I wanted to but honestly was a little timid about it. Yes I told her, I will go talk to him.

So I went and sat next to George. We talked about the weather, about his family, about the beach, about living on the beach, about kids, pretty much everything you could think of. I offered him a sandwhich and some bottled water we had in the cooler and he ate. He was very polite, said thank you, and smiled. My wife came over and I introduced her to him and they talked. My kids came over and I introduced them to him. They are awesome! They didn’t shy away, they didn’t stare him down, they didn’t look at him wierd; they smiled, stuck out their hands, and began to talk to him as well. Before it was all over with our daughter had even went and got other people from the beach and brought them over to meet George. I’m sure George really loved that! Actually he smiled, shook there hands and was very warm and welcoming and polite, just as he was with us.

We had a wonderful day at the beach. I loved getting to know George and thouroughly enjoyed the conversation we had. As we left I told George by and to take care and he told me the same. I said “Who knows, maybe we’ll see you again” to which he replied, “Yeah! I am always here, you will probably be able to find me.” I think I will.

I left a better person having met George. As Christians, isn’t it time we really Love God, Love People?

“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.” Hebrews 13:2

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27


2 Comments so far
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Good words. Miss you both.

Comment by judy works

Did you tell him your were a christian?

Comment by Shelly

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