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A Second Chance

What good is it, my brothers and sister, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill," and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.

James 2:14-17 (NRSV)

Byron S. Wills lives in Oregon. It was a busy day, and Byron was at his church trying to fix a dripping faucet. He discovered he needed to replace a gasket, so he drove to the hardware store. As Byron entered the parking lot, he saw a man sitting on the curb holding a sign that said, "Hungry - Please help." Byron had traffic behind him and he was in a hurry, so he didn't stop. As he left the parking lot, he saw the man again but still didn't stop.

Driving back to the church, Byron kept thinking about that man, and he felt compelled to go back and give him some money. But when he returned, the man was not there. Looking around, Byron noticed an old, battered truck. The man he had seen holding the sign was inside, so Bryon pulled over, rolled down the window, and asked him to come over - which he did. Bryon gave him some money and wished him well. He thanked him and Bryon left.

As Bryon left the parking lot, replaying what had happened, he was overcome with emotion. Surely it was God who had gotten his attention and encouraged him to help that man. Bryon thanked God for this second chance and asked God to help him to be more attentive and responsive to those in need in the future.

Prayer: Loving Father, help us be more aware of those in need around us, and give us the desire and the courage to respond with compassion, in Jesus' name. Amen.


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