Monday, November 21, 2011


This post has little to do with my children, or poop, or Momma-hood as it were.  This post has quite a bit to do with conviction.

This past weekend I had the privilege of photographing a beautiful, newly engaged, couple.  We spent a couple hours on the Butler campus in general merriment while I snapped photos.  Our last stop was The Circle downtown.  The bride to be needed to change clothes so we decided to meet up at the Starbucks.  

Confession: I was a teeny bit stoked.  I heart Peppermint Mochas and have been trying to stay away from Coffee shops on a whole.  I mean, hello, I can brew my own espresso and steam my own milk at home for a fraction of the cost.  It's just a matter of laziness.  However, this particular venture was the perfect excuse to snag a cheery beverage.

I arrived and meandered to the long line.  We are talking looooooooooooong line.  For real.  I stood there pondering the menu and secretly thought "How can they charge $4 for these drinks."  I moved forward a bit in line and started to stare out the windows at the gorgeous Christmas decorations.  Christmas is so happy.  :)  Then I saw this:

In the split second after seeing these two men my heart began to sink.  The thought of paying $4 for a drink - I did not need - became exceedingly ridiculous.  I was overwhelmingly convicted.

I started to write my response off.  "Oh, you're just being silly."  followed closely by "They wouldn't really use the money wisely."  Seriously.

I mean, Seriously.

Did I really have that thought?  Does it matter what happens to the money after I give it?  Who am I to not give that which is not mine to begin with?  Who am I to not obey simply because four dollars might be added to beer money?  Who am I to judge?

All these thoughts and questions bounded around in my brain in a matter of seconds.  I knew I needed to remember the moment.  So I took the awkward photo.  I started, yet again, to write it off as just being an ironic moment.  "Oh, look at that," I said to myself, "all these people in Starbucks and no one is willing to give to these men.  How ironic."  But it was so much more than that.

What a statement on our culture as a whole this is.  Some people payed with cash for a Venti Holiday drink - 4.75 plus tax - and then walked by these men without acknowledging them.  My intent in sharing this moment is not to discredit those who do not give.  Nor is it to scorn those that ignore - for I am usually among them. My intent is to share a moment in time when the Lord brought my own inadequacies to my attention and called me out on a commandment.

We are called to care for those that cannot care for themselves.  To love the unlovable.  To "Cheerfully open our home to those who need a meal or a place to stay." (1 Peter 4:9) We are reminded by Jesus himself, "whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’" (Matthew 25:40) How very frequently I forget this.  How often do I not make that meal for someone who is ill because I don't have time?  How frequently do I walk by a homeless person on the street with my head down, because I have somewhere to be?  How readily do I deny love to the unlovable for this silly reason of preoccupation?

The Lord has truly blessed my family in innumerable ways.  My job as his servant is to share those blessings - be it by giving time, using the gifts He has given me or dropping $4 into a cup that is not my own.

When my turn at the counter came, I ordered a tall coffee, payed the 1.80 with my debit card, added some cream and marched out into the cold.  I dropped my four dollars down into the cup and handed the coffee to the man.  "You need this more than I do," I said. "Thank you," he replied, "God bless you."  "He already has," I thought to myself.



Aunt Becky said...

I love you Emily.

Becky said...


There is a girl who was scamming people at a local Target, saying she was from out of town and had run out of gas and needed just a few dollars to get back on the road. She asked me for money one day as I was exiting and I told her honestly that I had no cash. The same girl, a few days later, asked my sister for help with the same story. God love her, my sister gave her some cash, and later when she discovered it was a scam, said, "Well obviously there's something so deeply troubling in her life that she needs help of some kind, if only just my compassion for her, even if she blows that money." And I was changed *on the spot* about my attitude toward needy people. I've always tried to help but since then, I help without judgment. Good words, friend, good words. :)
Love you.