I was feeling good. I just given a very short address to more than 100 criminal defense attorneys at their annual Michigan conference. It went well. They bought some of my books. They had kind words. I got into my nice car, outside the posh Park Place Hotel, located in the heart of pricey Traverse City. And then I spotted the face of Jesus.
It was pasted on the front of a homeless woman---not an old lady, either. She pulled all of her belongings in a little coaster wagon, right in front of me in the parking lot. Her face reflected all the pain and agony and shame of being homeless. She was probably planning to poke through trash bins outside the hotel.
This was it! This was the person I was talking to the attorneys about! I wanted to go back in and take her with me. All she had to do was get arrested for some kind of offenses that we find for charging the homeless and the down-trodden...and she would need a court appointed attorney. Her attorney would be her only hope. That's what I tried to tell these wonderful lawyers. I wanted them to pause before telling a client they didn't believe the story, and they wouldn't check out witnesses. I wanted them to know that refusing to listen, refusing to check out a story, was a crushing blow to someone with very little hope.
Why did I say this was the face of Jesus? Simple. He's the one who told us that in Matthew 25. He said that when we show kindness to these people---sick, poor, homeless, prisoners---we show kindness to HIM.
Thank you for the reminder, Lord.
I'm praying that our simple little message in Traverse City hit home.