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Our Angel, Ed

Krista Noel Ross

“Maybe he’s an angel. Maybe God sent him to remind us to be thankful for what we have.”

Catherine and I had forgotten our money and were trying to weasel some out of our friends: “Feed the poor! We’re starving! Can you spare any change?” We giggled as we pleaded.

“Yeah, right. Like anyone in a prep-school uniform would be starving!” Maggie said sarcastically. We all laughed hysterically. Catherine and I borrowed money and sat in a corner booth to eat our sandwiches.

We noticed the old man sitting in front of the restaurant, but none of us glanced a second time. Men were always sitting on the sidewalk.

“So, have you girls been bad? Is that why you’re sitting in the corner?”

We were startled to see the old man leaning on the wall beside us. His eyes rested wistfully on our half-eaten sandwiches. We glanced nervously at each other and laughed politely.

“Would any of you girls have a little extra money? I’m awfully hungry.”

“Um, no. We’re sorry,” Mollie said quietly.

Then we watched as the man stumbled out to the sidewalk and sat down, his chest heaving from the effort.

“Maybe I could give him half of my sandwich,” Maggie said.

We all nodded. “He does look hungry.”

Maggie got up and went outside. She handed him the sandwich and raced back inside. We peered through the window to see his reaction.

The man’s face brightened. He put his hands together and humbly prayed. Then he nibbled at the sandwich, savoring each bite as though he hadn’t eaten in days. Maybe he hadn’t.

“I feel bad. Here I was, griping that I was starving.” I looked apologetically at the old man.

“Maybe he’s an angel.” Startled, we stared at Mollie. “Maybe God sent him to remind us to be thankful for what we have.”

“I have more money. I think I’ll buy him another sandwich,” Maggie said; and she went to stand in line.

The man staggered to his feet; we all ran outside. “Wait!” we shouted. “Don’t go. We were about to buy you another sandwich.”

“Oh, no; don’t do that. If you have three dollars, that’s all I need,” the man said.

Maggie reached into her pocket. “I have only two dollars,” she said, offering him the crumpled bills.

“That’s OK. I just asked for the money so that in the morning I could go somewhere for breakfast and coffee to warm me up.” He smiled. I liked his smile. “But if this is all you have, I don’t want to take it.”

“Take the money—please,” Maggie said.

He smiled and graciously took the two dollars.

“What’s your name?” she asked curiously.

devozine Homeless Man Face TS 89943112“Ed. My name is Ed. I’m not a bad person. I love Jesus and have faith in him, even though my life is so hard. Seventeen years ago I was in the army and got my leg shot up. Now I have a horrible limp and have to use a cane. Last night, some kids stole my cane and my new bag.” His blue eyes were sad. “But I know that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I will remember you girls. The Bible says to feed the poor, and you’ve done that.” He paused. “And I will be your angel and go with you always.” My breath choked in my throat. Perhaps he was an angel!

We watched Ed as he hobbled down the sidewalk—our crippled angel Ed, who had given us so much. We had given him half a sandwich and two bucks. He had given us a whole new perspective on life.

 

DIG DEEPER

Read Matthew 5:5. Who are the meek? In what ways are they blessed? When has God worked through another person to make you more humble?

Krista Noel Ross from Chattanooga, Tennessee, was 15 when this article was published.

—from Devo'Zine (November/December 2000). Copyright © 2000 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved.
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