On her way to get lunch a woman followed about twenty feet behind a man who she recognized from the firm below hers. They were both going towards the same fast food restaurant three blocks from her office. Ten feet from the fast food entrance sat quietly a poorly attired and unshaven man. At the corner of the sheet of cardboard upon which he sat was an old plastic cup with a few coins and a dollar bill in it. The man paused, nodded and spoke briefly to the homeless gentleman.
Entering the restaurant several steps ahead of her, seeing that the line was a little long he positioned himself about four feet immediately behind the lady last in line. He evidently was positioning himself in line without blocking people pass through to the condiments and drinks. She nodded and moved to stand behind him. Seconds later two other people came into line behind her making the second line of four people. While standing in line she looked out the window to see two forty-something men hurrying along the street. One of the men briefly looked down towards the disheveled man sitting on the street and then shakes his head while saying something to his friend.
As they entered the restaurant the two men glanced at one then the other line. At that moment the line moves forward. When the man in front of the second line does not immediately move across the gap to join the other line, one of the two men steps up to the end of the first line. Then the second steps up behind his friend.
The woman notices the messages on the two T-shirt the men were wearing. The one simply says across the front and back, “Jesus is the answer. Follow Him.” The line moves forward a couple steps and she along with the man in front of her move into the first line. As she does so she hears the man whose message reads “Join me at YYY Church and have your life transformed,” say to his friend how it is a shame the authorities allow the homeless to camp on the street. His friend replies that he agrees and that he hates seeing the homeless hanging around the business district.
When the line moves forward again the businessman and the woman move forward too. In an expressionless tone man with the “Join me” shirt says to the businessman, “I’m sorry we cut in line.”
The gentleman quietly nods, “I’m an atheist who learned long ago not to take offense over such courtesies. I’m willing to give way to Christians who are in a rush.”
While for that response the atheist received glares from both men with the one Christian saying to the other, “You apologized. And what did it get you? It’s another example of how the world is increasingly becoming hostile to those who are seeking to live and witness for Christ.”
Moments later stepping up to counter the business ordered two meals. As he was filling the two drinks, the woman quietly says, “Thank you for what you said. We’re not all like them.”
Exiting the restaurant with her meal in hand, the woman noticed one of the two fellow Christians placing a religious tract into the homeless man’s cup while saying, “Jesus will saves you. Turn to Jesus and he will meet your need.”
Coming to the man she places a few coins into the cup. The man from her building is just a few strides behind her stops, extends his arm saying, “This drink and meal is for you.”
What she witnessed at lunch gave her pause so much so that that night the woman said to her husband, “Today I saw the story of the Good Samaritan lived out before me.”
When she finished describing what took place her seminary professor husband took off his glasses, and replied with sadness, “What troubles me the most about your story is that too many of us who claim the Lordship of Christ would say that it was the two men who were harmed and were Christ-like rather than agree that the atheist behaved more like Jesus.”