Archive for July, 2011

Seeing Jesus in a Homeless Woman.

Posted in Uncategorized on July 19, 2011 by Eric Lapata

Have you ever thought you were going to help someone and rather you changing their life they end up changing yours? This happened to me in the form of a homeless woman named Jeanette.

I ran into Jeanette “by chance” (by chance I mean a God-orchestarted moment) at So Others May Eat (S.O.M.E.), which is a soup kitchen in inner-city Washington D.C. Recently, The Chapel’s High School Ministry went on a mission trip to Washington D.C. to show the love of Christ to the poor, inner-city kids, the homeless.  S.O.M.E was a place where some of our students and leaders served both breakfast and lunch to those who were in need of a meal.

After serving breakfast on a  Tuesday morning, we had a few minutes to spare before getting ready to serve lunch. Another leader, Allison, and myself ran outside for a minute to grab something out of the van. Before returning inside, we ran into Jeanette. Jeanette was a sweet and kind woman who was carrying all of her life belongings in a single bag. She began the conversation with expressing her gratitude for the meal we just served her. Right away, I felt humbled by Jeanette. She had next to nothing, yet when I interacted with her, she seemed like she had everything.

After making small talk for a few moments, I didn’t want to waste an oppurtunity to tell her about Jesus. So, after thanking me once again for serving her a meal, I told her simply that we were there because we love Jesus. After the words left my mouth, my life was altered forever.

Jeanette asked me to take her hand and and she looked into my eyes. I cannot adequately describe the feeling that I had at that very moment-it was one that I have never felt before. Jeanette looked at me and simply said, “I love Jesus too. Isn’t it amazing that He gives us so much peace?” Peace. True, God-given peace. A woman who has nothing accorinding to worldly standards is talking about something that many would die to have. I stood there in utter shock knowing that my life had changed forever. I was the one that was supposed to show her Jesus, not the other way around. 

After we talked more about our common bond in Christ, she let go of my hand and we said our goodbyes. That was the last time I ever spoke to Jeanette. As I sit here and write about Jeanette, I miss her. Even though our exchange was brief, I will never forget her words, her hand in mine, and most importantly, her peace. Peace that can only come from knowing Jesus.

I’m thankful that God revealed Himself to me in a mighty, unexpected way- through the life of a homeless person who “gets it.” Though Jeanette may be poor in this world, she is definitely rich in the next one…