One evening recently, around sunset, my wife Diane and I pulled into a Smart & Final parking lot to pick up a few grocery items. In an obscure corner, a good ten to twenty feet from the store’s entry way, I saw the figure of a man hunched over in his wheelchair. There was something about him — I couldn’t put my finger on it — that told me he wasn’t a con artist, but the real deal. In any case, I sensed the Lord was prompting me to help him in any way I could. I checked my wallet and found just one bill, not a small one, but not an overly large bill either. I brought Diane’s attention to the man in the wheelchair and explained that I thought we were to help him by giving him some money. She immediately agreed.
As soon as he saw us coming he began gesturing — as if he were writing something on the palm of his hand with his finger, in mime fashion. When we got close enough to see him we realized he was desperately trying to speak as well. But because his mouth was disfigured — compounded by the fact that he was speaking with thickened tongue — we couldn’t quite make out what he was saying. As I handed him the money I simply said, “I hope you can use this. God bless you, my friend.” Looking at the bill, than back up at us, he struggled to respond. At last both Diane and I were able to make out, “God bless you, God bless you!”
As we were shopping I couldn’t get this poor man out of my mind. As I prayed for him, I felt that the Lord wanted us to go back and give him twice as much as we already had. So, at the checkout counter I got some cash back and set aside what I felt the Lord was leading us to give him. When we approached him the second time he seemed perplexed, so I immediately told him that the Lord had put it upon my heart to give him something more. I gave him the money and we began praying God’s blessings upon him. As we were praying he reached up, grabbing my hand, and tried to say something. I apologized and told him I couldn’t understand what he was saying. Both Diane and I bent over to get closer, as we heard him valiantly enunciate as clearly as he could five little words; words that quickened our spirits and elevated our souls that evening, in a Smart & Final parking lot.
“I’ll see you in heaven.”