Are you willing?

Us praying with Shawn.

Us praying with Shawn.

“Can I have your leftovers, anything you’re going to throw away?”

“Excuse me?”

Again he clarifies. He is sunken down as far as the hard plastic chair will allow.
He wants my leftovers… from McDonalds. (I don’t even want my firsts… and all I got was fries)

On Thursday nights we have our outreach called, Don’t Walk By. Of everything we do, it’s has be my favorite, because it takes away all the extra stuff - bus, soup, volunteer rotations, ect. And we are left with the pure and raw relationships. Not that the other stuff is bad, because it’s not, it’s beautiful in it’s own setting, but it’s just a refreshing break to the week to have this 1 outreach out of 12 be completely different. For me, a relationship and conversation driven person, it’s amazing.

It’s amazing to see what happens when you make yourself available to whatever happens.

No expectations, no agenda, just a “hello” and the available time to see where that “hello” leads.

Tonight I went down 6th ave towards a weekly meetup spot at a McDonalds to connect with some of our long-time friends. It was in that community that there just happened to be a guy sitting a few feet away, a guy all alone who had been praying for community, a guy named Shawn.

We were connecting with our friends, we had purchased dinner for everyone and ourselves as well - community not charity. We were learning about James an amazing artist and he was showing us his old and new art (really amazing, self-taught kid from NJ, now on the streets for years because he trusted and got burned over and over, he started out “vulnerable” and that got beaten out of him, now he just does him and doesn’t trust often - except for us - especially one of my co-workers, Dan, who started the relationship and is week after week building the relationship through consistent community and care.)

We were listening, sharing, caring, serving, learning, and just be-ing. Community. No expectations, just friends catching up and growing together. All the while, there is this man a few table away, reading a magazine. I saw him, but decided to watch for a few minutes.

“Can I have your leftovers, anything you’re going to throw away?”

This really took me by surprise.

What must it take to ask someone that? What does it feel like to be at a point where you hungry enough to eat people’s leftovers from McDonald's?
I’ve never in my life been in that situation.

I’m a foodie. I don’t eat fast food. We manage our budget in a way that we we only eat out a couple of times a month, but they are at good restaurants. But now, at this moment, I am sitting at the epitome of “fast food”, being asked for my contaminated, used, cold, leftovers.

“You don’t have to eat my leftovers. What can I get you?”
“Yes please.”
“Yes, anything you are willing to get I will eat.”

This reminds me of a story from the Bible where man of zero worth finds worth in Jesus’ willingness to love and act.

1When Jesus came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. 2A man with leprosya came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” 3Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean! (healed)” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy. Matthew 8:1-3

Both cases, a man with nothing to lose and everything to gain, placed themselves in the place of humility, “Are you willing?”.

In both cases, the response was, “I am willing”.

My job is to be the physical representation of Jesus on the streets of NYC and NJ.
What would it look like if Jesus was walking around today? How would He respond to what he saw? Would he be too busy to stop?

Do I get it right? Sometimes, yep. Others, nope, not even close. But, I am willing to try.

Are you?

This isn’t just a Brett thing, this is an everybody thing. We all get opportunities every day to “be Jesus”, to love well. Be it someone asking for food, holding a sign in humility, or something completely different. I could be a co-worker who you know is struggling financially. Maybe you should buy them lunch. It could be extending extra patience to the waitress who is doing an awful job, a car who cut you off (I could grow in this area!), or a family member who is continually pushing you to the edge of your patience.

Are you willing?

Give it a try, you never know what type of healing you can bring to the person who is the recipient of your willingness.

Much love all,