Daily Thoughts

Uplifting Daily Christian Thoughts

Tuesday, May 9

The Street Orphan

He couldn't have been more than six years old. Dirty face, barefoot, torn T-shirt, matted hair. He wasn't too different from the other hundred thousand street orphans that roam Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

I was walking to get a cup of coffee when he came behind me. With my thoughts some-where between the task I had just finished and the class I was about to teach, I scarcely felt the tap on my hand. I stopped, turned, and looked downward. There he stood.

"Pao, senhor?" ("Bread, sir?")

In my five years as a missionary in Brazil, there were daily opportunities to buy a candy bar or sandwich for these little outcasts. It's the least one can do. I told the boy to come with me, and we entered a sidewalk cafe. "Coffee for me and something tasty for my little friend." The boy ran to the pastry counter and made his choice. Normally, these youngsters take the food and scamper back to the street without a word. But this little fellow surprised me.

I went to the other end of the cafe and began drinking my coffee. Just as I was getting my derailed train of thought back on track, I saw him again, standing on tiptoe at the entrance, bread in hand, looking in at the people.

He saw me and scurried over, standing about eye level with my belt buckle. The little Brazilian orphan looked up at the big American missionary, smiled a smile that would have stolen your heart, and said, "Obrigado." ("Thank you.") Nervously scratching the back of his ankle with his big toe, he added, "Muito obrigado." ("Thank you very much.")

All of a sudden, I had a crazy craving to buy him the whole restaurant. But before I could say anything, he turned and scampered out the door.

Years have passed since that day in the cafe, and I'm still pondering this question: If I am so moved by a street orphan who says thank you for a piece of bread, how much more is God moved when we pause to care for one of His children?

When we care for those in our world who need food, shelter, healing, or hope, we come nearer to knowing God. The sign of the saved is their love for the least.

By Max Lucado
From: "No Wonder They Call Him the Savior," By Lucado, Max, Published by Multnomah Pub (June 1, 1986), ISBN: 0880706112, http://isbn.nu/0880706112
Used with Permission

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