One late Saturday afternoon, I decided to go shopping at a nearby mall. As part of my daily walking routine, I wanted to see if I could make it there on foot. However, I lost my way, and night was falling. The streets were getting dark, and I was starting to get nervous being out alone.

As I walked along, I noticed a pile of what looked like leaves or garbage up ahead of me.

Suddenly, the pile moved!

First a knee appeared, then a foot! I could scarcely believe it was actually a human being—one so crippled, however, that he looked more like a human spider. He could only move by using his arms and legs in a twisted, uncoordinated way, while his spine was useless.

At first, I was taken aback. Then I saw the metal can beside him and realized his family had probably put him on the street to beg for money from passersby. My heart went out to him.

As I walked toward him, I opened my bag and took out my wallet. I put quite a large paper bill in his hand.

I didn’t expect much of a response, but to my surprise, the young man looked up with lucidity and clear eyes. He made direct eye contact with me. I realized that here was a human soul. Just as alive and full of feeling as myself.

Later on, I thought back on the evening and I was grateful that I’d decided to walk to the mall, and even that I’d lost my way. If I’d taken my car, I wouldn’t have seen this young man from the street.

Jesus cared deeply about the poor and the downtrodden when He was on earth. In fact, He sometimes walked miles out of His way to minister to someone. Although I couldn’t do a miracle of healing like Jesus did, I could show this young man compassion and love. Never mind the shopping! This was something much more important!