I have a favorite travel coffee cup. One of my best friends gave it to me for my birthday, and it has one of my favorite verses on it (Proverbs 3:5-6). And I am one of those people who gets sentimentally attached to things like that.
This morning, I gave it away.
When I pulled into the parking lot at work this morning, I wasn’t thinking about the man I had just let finish crossing the street before turning the corner. Then I heard him call to me, “Do you have any food for a homeless man?”
Now, most of the time I just refer them to the local office or give them the gift certificates that I keep at my office for just such a time. But this time, after asking him to wait a few minutes, I grabbed the certificates, and then ransacked my own lunch for the fruit, pizza and cookie that I had packed. Then I grabbed the coffee cup, which had a yummy pumpkin spice blend in it today, and would have been the precise temperature to be able to drink comfortably. I’ll admit, I hesitated for a moment. After all, it was in my favorite cup.
But thankfully, it was only a moment. Because I quickly remembered that I could get more coffee, and another cup, without too much trouble. And I just spent a week in a country where I am rich by comparison to their everyday lives, reminding me of others' needs a little more clearly. And God told me to – enough said.
As I passed over the bag of food and my coffee, he expressed his thanks with bright eyes and a small smile. I asked his name.
“Emmanuel,” he replied.
Emmanuel. “God with us.” How appropriate.