Yesterday, a woman gave me one of those moments that helped me remember why I responded to God’s call to be a minister. There is a thrift store, Dorcas Place, in one of the churches I serve. This woman, a small, sort of distressed looking woman, came into my office and said, “I don’t know if I have the right place, but I heard I can buy clothes here. I smiled, said yes, we do have a thrift shop, but it wasn’t open right now. Her distress became more apparent when she told me she only had that day off. The particulars of her circumstances aren’t important, but she needed some clothes NOW.
Not even knowing if I could get into the thrift shop, I invited her to come down with me and find out. I was able to get in and as we started looking around for suitable clothing she shared some of her story with me. She asked how much things were, I told her and as we looked some more, I said, “Whatever you need, you can have at no charge.” She looked at me in disbelief and tears sprang to her eyes. I held her hand for a few minutes in silence, I wish I had asked her if I could pray with her. She wiped her eyes, picked out a couple more things, I put them in a bag and she left.
The words of Matthew’s gospel echoed in my ears, “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.”
I thank God for the generous women who created and shaped Dorcas Place as a ministry, and who told me shortly after I arrived that if someone needed clothes or household items, they gave them away.
That unknown woman may not know it, but I received far more than she did that morning.