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The Man in the Yellow Coat

This post was written by a guest blogger; my daughter, Sarah Danner. :) My husband and I live in one of the poorest counties in California. We live in the sticks. The only people around us, besides military folks, are farmers. Lots of dairy and fruit farms. It’s not unusual to see large trucks carrying loose fruit down the highway. I have often wondered why God picked this place for us. There’s nothing here. Not long after we had moved here, we started traveling to different cities to see this side of the country. My husband and I both grew up on the east coast. We had both been out to the west coast for small trips but neither of us had ever lived out here. It was during our second or third weekend trip that we noticed how many homeless there were over here in CA. I know that there are homeless all over the country, but it seemed to us that they were particularly abundant out here in California. I had decided that if we were going to be doing any sort of traveling that I wanted to make up some homeless bags to take on our trips. I wish I could take the credit for this idea but it was actually a family friend that lives in San Diego that had told me about the bags. We use a Ziplock bag and fill it with peanut butter crackers, a granola bar, a few small pieces of candy, a pair of brand new, clean, white socks, a bottle of water or fruit drink pouch, and a tract. It’s amazing to see the gratefulness on some of the faces when we hand these out. My husband and I were on one of our weekend trips, driving down a side street and we had stopped at a stop sign. Near the stop sign was a garbage can and there was a man digging inside of it. We pulled over to the side of the road and my husband got out of the car to give him one of the bags we had made. It was cooler that day and my husband was wearing his bright yellow Navy coat. For those who don’t know much about him, he is very proud to serve in the Navy. He also gets cold pretty easily. He has a blood disorder and has to be on blood thinners for the rest of his life. You won’t ever hear him complain about it though. Brian went over to the man that had now stopped what he was doing to see what was going on. As my husband reached out his hand with the bag to give it to the poor man, he shook his head no and pushed the bag back into my husband’s hand. He didn’t want it. The look on my husband’s face was that of utter sadness. He just couldn’t understand why that man didn’t want one of those bags. He got back in the car and with tears in his eyes told me that the man refused the bag. We both learned such an important lesson that day. Not everyone that is lost wants to be found. Not everyone that is broken wants to be mended. Our job isn’t to fix people. Only Jesus can do that. We can only share how He’s changed our lives. There will come a time when that homeless man will look back and remember the man in the yellow coat who tried to give him more than just food for his body. We don’t always get to be the reaper. Sometimes we are just the sower and someone else comes by and finishes the work. The work and the glory belong to the Lord.


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Barbara Olszewski

NCCA, LCPC-CTC

National Christian Counselors Association

Licensed Clinical Pastoral Counselor

Certified Temperament Counselor

All scripture taken from the

King James Bible

© 2016 by Barbara Olszewski.