I drive my roommate to work every day. I park the van on the street somewhere, settle him in at his office, and take the subway home to get on with my day. On the way to the subway is a Dunkin Donuts that I pass. In front of it are usually either one of two men: 1) Bradley, who is a very pleasant and conversational homeless man who likes to look up the meanings of various people’s first names; 2) another homeless man whose name I’m still not sure of, who stands quietly with a coin cup. I usually say hi to him and ask if he wants anything from Dunkin Donuts. His order is always the same: large black coffee with a little bit of sugar. It’s like clockwork. Once, he was busy giving directions but I got him a coffee anyway without asking him and it was just what he wanted. That’s how little he deviates from his order.
To me, this is gross. And illegal. I have a love-hate relationship with coffee: I love the caffeine. I hate the taste. I solve this problem by dumping enough cream and sugar into it to feed a small country and cause a worldwide dairy shortage. Most people drink coffee in the mornings. I drink dessert. Proudly. Anything less is completely unacceptable.
Anyway, this man always orders his ‘gross’ version of coffee, every day that I see him, and every day I give it to him and go on my merry way home. Today I saw him as usual and was about to ask him if he wanted a coffee, when he beckoned me over. “Hey I have an extra coffee for you. I just got it. Now you don’t have to buy one today.”
Free coffee?!?!? For me?!?!?! If I weren’t so suspicious of his lack of imagination when it comes to flavoring the stuff, I’d jump at this offer. BUT then he handed it to me, and it wasn’t the creepy black stuff he usually has. It was coffee-flavored dessert. Light and sweet, just the way I like it!
And just like that, the beggar became the giver. Leave it to Jesus’ radical love for us to turn tables, reverse roles, and keep our perspectives changing.
It is in moments like this that we see what love truly looks like. We see, just for a second, the man Jesus sees. When love is displayed like this, we see through His eyes. And not only that, but He takes it a step further by giving us an active, worldly example of His view.
I am so blessed to get such awesome glimpses of His presence in the world.