Worshippers at our church have the opportunity each Sunday to share prayer requests and praise reports with us. The requests are prayed over by our staff each week. One of those prayer slips, submitted by a child, caught my attention. The little girl wrote:
Praise: My dad … ministered to a hitchhiker on the way back from the bank, took him to breakfast, watched him eat while drinking a cup of coffee, gave him $10 and dropped him off at a homeless shelter.
I pondered this hand-written note. I imagined the daughter sitting in the back seat silently watching as her dad pulled over to the side of the road and picked up the hitchhiker. No detail escaped her impressionable mind. Her eyes were fixed on her dad who compassionately sat in a restaurant with a hungry stranger while he enjoyed a free breakfast. She keenly observed as Dad slipped the man $10 as he dropped him off at a shelter where he would have a warm bed for the night.
The little girl understood something powerful was going on with her father and the stranger. Dad “ministered” to the man, she surmised. She caught the important detail that her dad was doing all this, not just as a good deed, but as a ministry in the name of his Lord.
This precious child learned something more powerful than any sermon I will ever preach. She benefitted from the awesome power of the positive example of a godly parent. The image of her father’s service to the hitchhiker will likely stay branded in her soul for many years to come. It will come to her mind when a stranger crosses her path in the years to come. She will know exactly what to do!