Preaching & Teaching

The beggar

“If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness.” Isaiah 58:10

There is a story of a monk who had given himself to prayer. All his life, he has longed that just once, Christ would appear to him. He had prayed this for years, and then one day it happened.

The monk had been praying, and as he looked up, there he was: the Lord Jesus Christ standing right there in his cell! The monk was completely overcome. This was the moment he had longed for all his life. A personal audience with Jesus Christ. His mind was filled with a thousand questions he wanted to ask.

At that moment, the bell over the door of the monastery rang. The monk knew what that meant. From time to time, a beggar would climb the hill to the monastery to ask for bread. That day, the monk was on duty, which meant that he had to answer the door to this beggar.

So now, the monk faces an agonizing choice: Will he leave the Savior and feed the beggar, or will he stay with the Savior and ignore the beggar?

The monk made his decision. Slowly, he rose from his knees, left his light-filled cell, went to the kitchen, and gave the beggar the bread. Then, with great sadness the monk walked back to his room, distraught that serving the beggar had caused him to miss the moment of a lifetime.

When he got to his cell, to his absolute astonishment, he saw that the Savior was still there, waiting for him! He fell to his knees in wonder. And then the Savior said to him: “If you had not gone, I would not have stayed.”

Is there someone in need with whom you can share the presence of Christ?


By Colin Smith

Colin Smith is senior pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church, a multi-campus church located in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, and president of Unlocking the...

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