What’s your sign?


I had not planned on getting any cash back at the store until the Holy Spirit insisted on not letting me pass by this one. He was standing in a place where it’s not surprising to see someone holding up a sign, there are many homeless who hang out at this particular store. He stood on the corner, on the road where everyone exits and enters the shopping center.

His sign said, “A little goes a long way.” Something about it shook me and wouldn’t let me go. The Holy Spirit nudged me all the way into the store and as I ticked things off my list, He was there. And so was he. I separated a five dollar bill from the rest and as I drove out I motioned him over and handed it to him. I felt a spark of human connection as I smiled into his eyes and said, “God bless you.” Which really meant that I didn’t know what else to say.

It meant, “I’m sorry you are in this predicament whatever the cause.”

It meant, “I’m sorry it had to come to this.”

It meant, “I can’t imagine how it would be to have to stand out here with a sign.”

It meant, “Where is your mother?”

Both of us part of the human race, both of us struggling in different ways.

“Semper Fi! He said with a gap-toothed smile as I waved and drove off. And today in prayer, he was still making me cry, because really, there but for the Grace of God go any of us. I don’t know how he spent my measly five dollars and I don’t care. What matters is that I didn’t ignore the Holy Spirit when he whispered, albeit insistently.

The truth is we’re all carrying signs. The difference is most of us carry them on the inside. I wonder what would happen if we all got out and stood by that man in solidarity, each with our own signs held up right alongside his.

“Scarred by life”

“Desperate to be loved”

“Deeply in debt”


“Angry and hurting”

“Lost and alone”

Some of us have signs others have put on us that couldn’t be further than the truth. Jesus had one of those. The sign over the cross said, “The King of the Jews.” That ticked the religious people off, they wanted it to say, “He said I am King of the Jews.” What it should have said was, “Savior of the World.”

It was written, “JESUS THE NAZARENE, THE KING OF THE JEWS.” Therefore many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Latin and in Greek. So the chief priests of the Jews were saying to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews’; but that He said, ‘I am King of the Jews.’” Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.” John 19:19-22

What’s your sign?

Until our hearts break at what breaks God’s we might as well be acting in a play. The greatest commandment is to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, strength and mind and our neighbor as ourselves.

Most of the time I suck at it.

I don’t think it means we all quit our jobs and head to Africa or India, but it does mean we have to keep our hearts soft and be open to the Spirit. It’s so easy to be cynical. This world gives us plenty of reasons, and so do people. But the wonderful thing about God is that despite our failings to love each other, God still loves us enormously. He remembers we are dust.

Today, I read this through tears……..receive it with me today:

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits;
Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with loving-kindness and compassion;
Who satisfies your years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.

The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
Slow to anger and abounding in loving-kindness.
He will not always strive with us,
Nor will He keep His anger forever.
He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,

So great is His loving-kindness toward those who fear (respect) Him.
As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.
For He Himself knows our frame;
He is mindful that we are but dust.

Psalm 103:1-5, 8-14

photo credit: creative commons

God created animals because…………




Why did God create animals? The answer is simple and it’s the only right one. Because He loves us. Everything He created is an expression of His love for us. And because He knew that although human interaction is necessary for our well-being; He also knew that sometimes people would disappoint us. Animals have no ulterior motives, they don’t even know what that is.

Their love is a free expression given with no thought of what they will get in return and they remind us of the joy we had as children when we skipped no matter who was looking.





They will receive your hugs when others have backed away at your smell. They don’t care, in fact they like it better when we don’t shower. And they will never ask how you ended up on the streets because some of them are there too, just trying to survive. They will sit at your feet and listen impartially and give no argument, somehow you know they’re in your corner. They will huddle close when the nights are cold and you wonder where all your friends went.


They offer no judgments, and when we return their devotion, the rewards are endless. In their eyes we see the reflection of the God who created them to be our companions in this world which can sometimes be a lonely place. God knew that we would back away from Him too, and that’s why He created something so easy for us to love. For who could be threatened by a wagging tail or a winding around of your feet at the day’s end?


Animals have saved the lives of their people time and again. Read the stories of those whose lives have been transformed and healed from pain and addiction all because they discovered there is tremendous power in looking away from yourself and focusing on someone or something whose needs are as great or greater than your own. That rescuing an animal lost, alone and in distress had the power to bring them both out of the pit.


Why did God create animals? He created them in hopes that you will return their love and appreciation for what they give us, and that in loving them, our hearts will turn towards the God who created them and loves us with a love we can scarcely imagine.

We all know that there are times in this life when our sorrow is more than we can bear.

Crushed beneath a weight of sadness we go off to find a quiet place and sit for a while. We feel a brush of fur nudging our elbow, or a cold nose under our hand. We find they have followed us, sensing our loss. Tear fall on soft fur and they offer it up with no reservations. That’s what they do. And that’s what God longs to do too. There is nothing we have to do to earn His love, we had it even before creation.

God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. Acts 17:27

Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind”; and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:24,25

Photos found on Pinterest by Chris Teso, Tina Carter, Ana Muller, Dan Lee and the last one is via Google images of Street Cat Bob and James Bowen. Read about their inspiring story via their Facebook page.

Donation to the pets of the homeless foundation may be made here if you feel so inclined.

When it’s easier to label someone than help


Hey you, man on the side of the freeway with a sign.

What are you?

A fake, a phoney?

Are you playing us for a fool or are you really homeless?

Really poor?

Really a disabled veteran?

I want you to know, you haunt me.

Driving by later at night, I see you are no longer at your usual post by the freeway exit and neither is your friend.

The one whose turn it is to hold the sign while you wait in the shade.

I wonder, where do you sleep?

Where are you right this minute?

And is it my job to judge whether you are really what you say you are?

You shame me.

You teach me how far I still have to go in my faith journey.

I see you everywhere, and everywhere I wonder.

What…..who…..how you are and how you ended up there.

I just want you to know……

You haunt me.

And I am thinking that Jesus probably haunted a few people too.

Matthew 25:35-40

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Enter, you who are blessed by my Father! Take what’s coming to you in this kingdom. It’s been ready for you since the world’s foundation. And here’s why:

I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.’

“Then those ‘sheep’ are going to say, ‘Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?’ Then the King will say, ‘I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.’ Matthew 25:35-40

photo credit: creative commons via flickr Ed Yourdon