It all started with a yellow construction hat.
How hard could it be to find a toddler construction hat to complete my son's Halloween Costume?
I searched online.
Went to Party City.
Went to Halloween Express.
Even searched the pet costumes.
My last hope was The Dollar Tree.
I was tired of looking and ready to be home.
As I neared the entrance, my eyes caught sight of a man.
A tired, weary man, crumbled in the corner of the two buildings.
A homeless man.
I walked through the doors and suddenly my search shifted to the far corner of my mind and that man, that tired weary man, mattered more than a costume.
I quickly glanced in the kids section for the hat. Nothing.
I stepped outside, glanced again at the man, and walked back to the car.
I jumped in and told my husband we had to do something.
We drove around a bit, contemplating, wondering what to do, what God wanted us to do.
Daniel parked the car and we decided he would go talk to him. I watched my kind and caring husband step toward the man and greet him. I love how Daniel loves others. That's why I married him.
Within a minute, I saw Daniel turn and head back into the Dollar Tree. I could not watch anymore. I grabbed Weston from his seat and we ventured back into the store as well, without a thought of the hard hat.
I found Daniel as he was looking for a flashlight.
"The man just asked for a flashlight," he said.
Just a light. Was all he asked for.
The verse from Psalms popped in my mind.
"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path."
We ended up buying him a Bible and a Dr. Pepper to accompany his flashlight.
I noticed the man leave the corner and walk to the front of the store. He looked a bit disoriented and confused. Maybe under the influence?
We walked out and again greeted him.
I looked at him.
I looked directly at his eyes.
And behind his worn skin and matted hair and dirty clothes and toothless smile, were the most beautiful blue eyes.
They were the bluest of blue. And I was locked into them.
And for the first time, I looked into the soul of this man and felt like I was looking into the eyes of Jesus somehow.
Daniel asked if we could pray with him and he said yes. "But before you pray for me, can I tell you what I need?" "Sure," we both said.
"Pray that I can find a job."
So we did.
We prayed on the sidewalk in Gastonia that this man would find a job.
Afterwards, I asked him what kind of job he wanted.
"I want to paint." he said.
"As in houses?" I probed.
"Yes, inside and out."
"So you are an artist then, huh?" I said with a smile.
"Yes, yes I am an artist."
"I used to paint houses professionally. I was really good."
I believed him.
I asked him if he ever read this Bible?
"Yes, I have."
I told him to spend some time in the Psalms and he said he would.
I walked back to the car.
Heart beating out loud.
That man. The man I almost ignored.
Declared himself an artist.
And he's right. He is. He still is.
And you are too.
Will you please join our family in praying for this man.
Pray he finds a job painting.
So he can give back the art God placed in his heart.
He is an artist.
I am an artist.
And you, yes you are an artist.