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The man with the holey pants

On a cold October morning I was walking briskly from the train station to my office, watching the ground in front of me so I didn’t trip on anything. #theclumsylife

About half way there, I noticed a very thin man darting across the sidewalk. He looked confused and in a hurry, but like he wasn’t sure where he was going. His clothing was tattered, and he had a giant hole in the back of his pants revealing dirty long underwear. My heart broke for him and I felt the familiar, gentle prompting from the Lord to do something about it.

A moment later, I realized I had a $100 Visa gift card in my purse. Surely this man could use a new pair of warm pants more than I needed whatever I was going to buy with it. So I started walking toward him, and he started running. I walked more quickly and jogged after him about half a block before I realized he might be running from me.

‘I couldn’t catch him even if I sprinted,’ I told myself. ‘I’m going to be late for work anyway,’ I reasoned.

So I stopped chasing after him and went to work. While I was taking off my coat, the regret settled into my heart and soon I had a stomach ache.

I shouldn’t have given up so easily.

All at once, I was overwhelmed with gratitude that the Lord never stops chasing us. He sees our tattered clothes, our lack of direction, and our dirty pasts. But He looks right past them into our hearts and pursues us anyway. He doesn’t stop because we keep running, or even when we start running faster in the wrong direction. He patiently pursues us until we’re ready to turn around and walk with Him or until we die – whichever comes first.

“Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life.”
Psalms 23:6

I’m so thankful for this truth.

Please say a prayer for the man with the hole in his pants. I haven’t seen him since that day.


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