During the Lenten period of the church year, I have attended “Way of the Cross” services in a variety of churches in the Oklahoma City area.
Just before the start of one these services in 2003, I noticed a bearded, poorly clothed man standing at the entrance of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic church. He looked hungry and tired but did not say a word to anyone as they entered the church.
An elderly woman wearing the dress of a person whose national origins is from Vietnam briefly spoke to the man then gave him some money she took from her little bag before entering the church. Instead of leaving the church, the man went into the church knelt down, as if to pray for a few minutes, then left. What a great gesture of Christian love this elderly woman showed towards a man she probably did not even know!
I felt ashamed that I did not welcome the man or give him some money. But I was so taken by the woman’s gesture towards another child of God!
That day, that moment I had two things to pray for—the man being at the Church and the little elderly Vietnamese woman who taught me the meaning of Christian sacrifice and unconditional love towards a fellow human.
Prayer: Almighty Father, give us the little nudge in our hearts and minds to help others at their point of need like the little elderly Vietnamese woman.