“The poor is hated even of his own neighbor: but the rich hath many friends. He that despiseth his neighbor sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.” Proverbs 14:20-21
Today’s Christian daily devotional
“How long until we get to grandpa’s?” Daniel darts his head in and out of the open car window.
“Mom, were starving.” I tug on the sleeve of my mother’s blouse in dramatic exasperation.
Once a month we trekked from our tiny house in the quiet suburbs to visit our grandparent’s apartment in the big city. We were only about halfway through our trip. Being trapped in that wood-paneled station wagon for longer than an hour was pure torture for my little brother and I.
“Grandpa T promised that if you kids were good…” My mother turned around and gave us her famous wink.
“…We could go to McDonalds?” Daniels eyes sparkled like brown diamonds.
“You’ve got it.” Mom pinched his nose.
I settled deeper into my seat, clasping my hands together in attempt to tame myself. Nothing was going to come between that Happy Meal and me.
The car was eerily quiet as our rusty wagon rolled up to the front of our grandparent’s apartment building.
Grandpa T was waiting outside with his hat and gloves on; ready to take us out for a night of French fries and the playground. We pounced on him with kisses as soon as he made it through the threshold of our car door. It was safe to squeal now; grandpa was in the vicinity!
Within minutes we stood in front of the hamburger paradise just up the street from grandpa’s.
It was the beginning of winter. The snow hadn’t fallen yet, but it was cold enough to see your breath. A thin layer of frost coated the fiberglass tables outside.
That made no difference to my brother and I. We dashed inside to quickly place our order and then headed right back outside to tend to the frosty playground.
“Lisa! Don’t hang from your legs like that!” A gruff voice called out from behind a plastic tree.
“Ok, mommy.” I saw a swirl of dirty blonde hair flip from the top of the jungle gym.
My heart danced a bit. It was always a thrill to meet a new friend.
“Hey.” I popped my head under where the girl was standing.
“Oh, hi!” She smiled back at me, her nose dribbling from the cold. Lisa whipped the “inconvenience” with her sleeve.
Her mother glanced up from smoking her cigarette and went right back to reading her paperback.
I couldn’t help but notice that she wasn’t dressed properly for the chilly weather outside. Lisa was only wearing a thin long-sleeved T shirt. It was the middle of November; sweater weather to say the least.
“Aren’t you cold?” I stare at her thin, blue hands.
“Yes. That’s why I like to hang upside down!” She carefully places her finger up to her lips, motioning for me to keep quiet. Lisa flipped her body upside down again. We both bust out giggling together.
“Julia! Daniel! Your Happy Meals are ready. Come inside.” My mother calls from the open door.
I look back at my new friend.
“It’s warmer inside.” I’m hoping to convince her to join us. My little brother was starting to look like dull company.
“Mom, can I play inside for a little bit?” Lisa scurries over to her mother who is still sitting quietly beneath the fiberglass tree.
She cocks her head to the side, taking a good look at our crew. After a long drag from her cigarette, she simply lifts her chin in a slight nod and returns to her reading.
“Yup!” Lisa clasps her hands and bounds happily towards us.
As we go inside, the bright lights reveal just how dirty Lisa’s clothes were.
“Who’s this?” My grandfather waltzes up, eyeing my new friend with curiosity.
“I’m Lisa.” Her red nose runs like mad from the warmth of the restaurant.
“Oh, I see….You hungry, Lisa?” My grandfather bends down.
“Yes!” Without hesitation she answers. The edges of her lips moisten at the thought of food.
My grandfather turns and waddles back up to the counter, placing an order for one more Happy Meal. Within minutes, all of us are perched on plastic mushroom chairs, dining like kings inside that toasty McDonalds.
I’ll never forget the lesson I learned from my grandfather that night. Proverbs 14:20-21 teaches us that nothing is better than doing what you know is the right.
Not for the praise, not for the attention, but just because that’s exactly what God would want us to do. And, when you follow the will of God you are always richer for it.
“Dear Heavenly Father,
There are so many things I take for granted. I have a roof over my head, proper clothes to wear and food. Yet, sometimes I have the audacity to complain when many people don’t even have the basic necessities for survival.
Forgive me for my lack of thankfulness. Help me to remember that no matter what I am going through, there is someone going through worse that would love to live my life for even one day.
Open my eyes to see needs that I have never seen before. Give me a heart to not just acknowledge the need; but to meet it with a generous heart that longs to share from the blessings you have given me.
You are a good God and I am not blessed so I can have excess. I am blessed so that I can be a blessing to others. In Jesus’ precious name, guard me from my selfish ways, Amen.”
* A special thank you to my precious grandfather. May your gene of generosity be passed on to all your future generations!
Thank you for reading today’s Christian daily devotional on verses: Proverbs 14:20-21
Please check back and see what we have for you tomorrow!
Author: Julia Shalom Jordan