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18 November 2022

By Grace Andrews of Independence, MO, USA

The Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.

Numbers 6:25–26

Many years ago, I worked as a part-time salesclerk on weekends. During break times, I enjoyed going outside and watching people. My eyes turned to a blind man sitting on the sidewalk, his tin cup in front of him. I have seen many poor people in my lifetime, but he was unforgettable. He was singing hymns! Those passing by likely had much more reason to sing than he; nevertheless, he sang, not loudly or boisterously, but reverently! Some passersby stopped and stared, others looked uncomfortable, circling around him. Most didn’t seem to see him at all.

One Saturday I quietly approached him, looked in his empty cup and when he paused between songs, I asked if he’d had anything to eat. He turned to the sound of my voice and said softly, “No, but that’s okay.” I must confess many times in my life I have not heeded the gentle leadings of the Spirit, but thankfully, I did on that day. I felt compelled to go to a nearby café and buy a sandwich for him. When I returned, he was still singing—his cup still empty. He seemed grateful for the food. As we talked, I learned he’d been blind since childhood. I asked where he stayed at night, and he admitted he lived mostly on park benches.

We were light years apart—I was involved in school, church, friends, reading—my world with seeing people, capable of reading face-to-face communication. His days were filled with survival concerns, unknown shadows, sounds, voices, hoped-for coins jingling in his tin cup to provide a little food, finding a safe place to sleep. I enjoyed a loving family, with hot meals and a warm bed. Did anyone ever make him feel warm and safe? I noted holey shoes and old, ripped pants—yet he sang! This sightless man seemed entirely at peace, living by an unknown light glowing in his dark world.

Before I left him, I whispered “I’m sorry life is so hard for you.” He smiled, and said, “Thank you for your kindness.” As I returned to my job, he resumed singing, a bit more upbeat I thought.

Prayer Phrase

God who is with us and ahead of us, help us feel the gentle nudge of your Spirit as we move toward the future. Guide us along the way as we seek justice and peace for your creation.

Spiritual Practice

Praying for Leadership of the Church

An important spiritual practice for disciples is praying for members of the body of Christ, especially those who carry leadership responsibilities. Ask God to guide your awareness of people who lead the community of faith in congregations, mission centers, and the World Church. Pray for God’s outpouring of grace on each servant leader who comes to mind.

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

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