Feed My Sheep

????????????   My husband and I were on our way to church for the Good Friday service. As we were stopped at a red light we saw a homeless person up ahead – a young girl, maybe in her twenties – holding a “Homeless, Hungry” cardboard sign. I didn’t notice much about her – she was dressed in a nondescript clothing, an oversize jacket and sweats – but somehow I ended up looking into her eyes, and then immediately diverted my gaze. I think my husband was considering digging into his wallet but I cut him off, spouting off that these homeless people just need to get a job, that she looked young and healthy enough, et cetera, as the light thankfully turned green and we drove off.  Just the day before, on Holy Thursday, I had experienced getting my feet washed, feeling humbled, feeling like I hadn’t been of service enough to others. Just the week before I had gone to confession for Lent and as I knelt and prayed in church,  heard Jesus say to me, as he did to Peter, “feed my sheep.” (John 21:17 –  “…the third time He said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.”) I had thought it odd at the time, but felt like I had distinctly heard these words in my head as I knelt before Him, asking to hear Him. How quickly I had forgotten! I said to my husband, “quick, turn back, we need to go give her something.” I asked my husband how much cash he had – a ten and a one – and told him, ‘let’s give her the ten’ and I prayed she would still be on the same corner. She was – and he handed her the money as we waited again at the light. She took it, said thank you, ‘happy Easter,’ and picked up her sign and small backpack to go – and as she did so, she put a hand on her belly and we noticed she was pregnant. I looked in her eyes again – this time a second longer – and although I’m not sure what emotion I saw, I knew I was looking into the eyes of one of God’s flock – and the tears came – tears of shame but also tears of gratitude that God broke through my hard heart enough to make me see Him, hear Him and follow Him, if just for a moment in time.

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