I don’t picture my life like the movie scenes of a homeless story. I never thought I could be in the same category as someone who has lost their way and is unsure of the next place they will lay their head. In fact, I never thought about that possibility for my life at all, until I gave someone a cupcake.
It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon. We were hosting a church leadership meeting at the local library and as always, refreshments were provided. Big juicy strawberries, sweet soft cookies and the latest trend in deserts, designer cupcakes! After the meeting, we had some of these wonderful cupcakes left over. I suggested we take them to the local mission and give the few that were left to whoever would like one. We packed up and headed down the road to the other side of town. We parked the car, got the tray of cupcakes out and began to offer a group of gentlemen a cupcake. I didn’t think they would be so happy to taste what I have tasted far too often. The smiles on their faces were genuine and the gratitude they showed was precious. We kept passing out cupcakes. They didn’t seem to be dwindling. My friend looked over and asked me, “Are these things multiplying or what? How do we have so many?” I didn’t know the answer, and honestly I didn’t even listen to the question because I had my own thoughts flooding my head such as, “Wow… there are so many people who call this corner of the sidewalk home. Why would anyone want to live here?
We crossed the street and approached a group of ladies sitting on the sidewalk. We offered them a cupcake. As we were making light conversation with the three women, I recognized two of the ladies. The first woman had her hair all in her face. Her eyes were glazed over and the look she gave was empty and disconnected. She was filthy with soiled clothes. The second woman was full of conversation and pleasant. Her clothing was weathered and her face appeared to be older than her body. There was no way these woman would ever be connected to me in any way, until I realized they actually were. I almost dropped the cupcakes.
Rewind time back several years. These two ladies had jobs, homes and one had a spouse. They were well-groomed and I knew them from mutual friends we had. They socialized, had food to put in their refrigerator, cell phones and TV’s. And now they were now camping on the street, in a dazed fog, eating a cupcake I handed to them.
The cold reality of life smashed into my face. My God… I know them. I have socialized with them. I know their names and I could very well be sitting on the other side of this cupcake. Questions filled my mind… What happened? How did you get here? When did you give up? What are you doing? Why do you look so different? The truth is I had too many words filling my head to say any words of wisdom out of my mouth. I knelt down, said hello, wished these ladies a good day and gave them a cupcake. As I was walking away, tears rolled down my face. All I could do was say, “God… What do I say? That very well could have been me.”
Devastation has no particular requirement of those it goes after. The Bible tells us in John 10:10 the Devil is here to kill, steal and destroy us. Jesus said that His purpose is to give us a rich and satisfying life. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from, what your income is or what you think you’re better than. If there is any way that Destruction can find to creep into your life, it will. If there is any door that is unlocked and unguarded within your life, the thief will find it. It is the thief’s purpose and mission to find a way in. A true thief practices until the skill of breaking in is perfected. It doesn’t always happen overnight but it can happen.
Jesus is the only One who can guard, protect, cover, seal and anoint you with His security system. Our lives matter. All of our lives matter to Him. I was brought to the realization that it is my intimate relationship with Jesus that has me on the giving end of the cupcake, instead of the receiving end. The power and authority that lives within me comes from Him. The grace and compassion that my life has experienced only comes from Him. The fact that I stand here today with a sound mind and a home to live in is because of Him. My decisions were not always the best. What separates me from the people who received the cupcakes is nothing more than circumstances. It is my desire to go back and share with these people what God has done for me! It is my desire to bring more than cupcakes on my next visit. How sweet the gesture, but unless I share the gift of the power within me, then it’s just some sugar.
The fact that Jesus has a purpose and a plan for each and every one of us is reason enough for me to continue to take cupcakes and the message of Jesus, to these people. If a cupcake can start a conversation, then there is hope for a better life. “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11