As he walked down the road, JT was glad in this wonderful day. He was glad to be alive and on this journey searching for Jesus. It seemed like life’s situations threw him directly into situations where he was forced to make decisions.
No sooner had he thought this, than he turned the bend in the road and saw a dilemma. There was a person lying by the side of the road. He looked like he had been beaten up. JT ran towards him and also saw an empty money pouch lying on the ground beside the man.
“Hello, is there something I can do to help?”
The man angrily shouted, “go away, I suppose you want to rob me as well!”
“No sir, I just wanted to help. I want nothing from you.” Was JTs’ shocked reply. He sure didn’t expect a response like this; he was just trying to help.
The man eyed him, then sat up and asked, “Do you have any water or food?”
JT dug into his backpack and pulled out all the food and water he had in the world. “It isn’t much, but it is all I have.”
The man looked at him, broke his bread and cheese into half and gave them back to JT. “I’m sorry for treating you like that, but it has been a very bad day for me.” Then he added, “But it is getting better. Bless you for helping me.” He ravenously ate what JT had given him, took a swig of water, and then disappeared.
JT looked around, astonished, then searched everywhere for traces of where the man had been. He saw no belongings, no sign at all that the man had even been there.
He shook his head, and then traveled a bit down the road. Ahead, there were 2 larger boys teasing a small girl. They were pulling her hair and tearing her clothes. Even though the boys were much larger than JT, he knew this wasn’t right, and went running towards them yelling and waving his staff.
The two boys looked startled, and then braced to confront the much smaller boy. “Leave her alone, get out of here!” JT yelled. He stopped in front of them grasping his staff. The boys advanced towards him, and somehow JT found the strength and skill to knock both boys off their feet with his staff.
“I don’t want to hurt you, but I will unless you leave the girl alone.” He looked at them menacingly holding the staff firmly. The bullies quickly crawled away from him, and then ran off into the forest as fast as they could go. JT saw that the girl’s clothes were torn badly, so he offered her his cloak. She gratefully accepted it and wrapped it around her small frame. Her dirty and tear-streaked face smiled at him in gratitude. “Thank you so much for saving me. I am not sure what they wanted but it was not good.”
“Did they hurt you?” JT asked gently. The girl nodded and showed her arm where it had been scratched. It was bleeding slowly but steadily. JT quickly tore a bandage off a sheet he had in his backpack. He used a little of his remaining water to clean the wound, then used the strip from the sheet to make a clean bandage. Soon, he was sitting next to her and offering to share the last of his food and water.
When he opened his backpack, he was amazed to find that all his food was there. It was as if the man he had helped earlier did not eat any at all. He shook his head, and then thought ‘I must have forgotten how much I had.’
JT offered to take her to the next town; she smiled gently at him and then disappeared. JT shook his head; he couldn’t believe that the girl had disappeared. Now he looked in his backpack and found the sheet he had torn the bandage from was intact. The cloak he had given the girl, was there as well. In fact, when he checked his food and water, it too was replenished to what it had been at the beginning of the day.
He began walking again and now saw a third sight. A little boy sat by the side of the road; he looked alone and afraid. JT came up to him and said, “What’s wrong? Why are you here all alone? Are you lost?”
The little boy nodded. “You can come with me,” JT said, “We can go and look for where you belong. If we can’t find them soon, you can stay with me. I’ll take care of you.”
JT fed the little boy, then took him by the hand and began to travel down the road. After a while the little boy pulled his hand out of JT’s and said, “Thank you for taking care of me.” JT looked that way and smiled, “You are welcome.” And with that, the little boy disappeared as well.
JT looked confused, but shrugged and thought: ‘I wonder if they were tests or something. I hope I did the right thing. I did what I thought was right.’ He had been learning things on this trip.
As he trudged along, he saw a man with a shepherd’s crook and his sheep. This was the same shepherd who had protected him in the valley. He smiled at JT and said, “What you have done for the least of my brothers’ you have done for me.” JT smiled back and was glad for the choices he had made.
QOTD: This story illustrated part of the “The Lord’s Prayer” (Matthew 6:10). How should we ensure that the Lord’s will is what we do and not our own?
To read the introduction to this series please click HERE