It was not long after Sherri and I began our faith journey with Jesus in the
summer of 1990 that we began to discover that Jesus has a special place in
His heart for those who are the most broken, discarded and shoved off to
the side; we sometimes refer to them as the disenfranchised. The term
“disenfranchised” means to be stripped of your rights. The word “enfranchir”
is an Old French word and it means “to make free,” and when you add the
negative prefix dis-, disenfranchised means “made un-free.”
Jesus seemed to have been drawn to this class of people the most and He did
the majority of His miracles with this group of people; the ones no one else
in adultery John 7:53-8:11, He hung out with the sinners and tax collectors
Mark 2:13-17; you get the idea.
I recall an instance early in our faith walk, where Jesus began to help us understand
how very important this group of people was to Him. It was the summer of 1991,
our second year of walking with Jesus and we were all packed up and headed
to Family Camp; the very place where Sherri and I met Jesus the year before.
We double checked everything and we started out; our two children, Shelly
and David were excited. As we started through Emporium on our way to camp,
we saw a man walking next to the road; what a sight he was!
This man was tall and wearing an ankle length trench coat; it was July and
already hot by 9:30 am. The coat was tattered and the man was carrying a
tattered duffle bag; his face gaunt and his shoes looked ready to fall off his feet.
Instead of walking on the sidewalk, he was walking off to the side of the road;
where people usually park their cars. As we drove by, we all starred at the sight
of this man; not knowing what to do, we said a prayer for him and headed toward
By the time we reached the other end of town, I felt so convicted that I pulled over.
I said to Sherri and the kids;
“I think we need to run home and get some things together and see if we can help that man.”
So we made a u-turn and quickly headed home. By the time we got home we
all knew what to grab, David grabbed a Bible to give him, Shelly had a nice backpack,
I grabbed a new pair of sneakers I had, and Sherri packed some food into Shelly’s
backpack, we then quickly drove back to the man.
I pulled over and jumped out of the car, approached the man
I pulled over and jumped out of the car, approached the man and told him that
we had a few things he might need for his trip. He looked rather confused, and
sat down on a nearby concrete block wall. I gave him the items we had gathered
and he was so thankful; tears came to his eyes. I gave him the Bible and he said he
would read it when he stopped for the night; probably under a bridge somewhere.
I said a prayer with the man before we headed over to camp.
I will never forget that tall, tattered stranger and neither will Jesus!
Over the course of our journey with Jesus, we have met dozens of folks
we now lovingly refer to as “The Least of These.” I wanted to share a few
of the stories of those amazing people with you, in hope that you will
reach out to them and encourage them to walk with you as you walk with Jesus.