The homeless man stumbled into our city’s mission, coat dripping rainwater, feet leaving squishy prints on the floor. The director asked the man how he could help. Hot food? A night’s shelter?
“No,” the man said, “But I could use a pair of dry socks.”
The director left to retrieve the footwear from the mission’s supply of donated clothing only to discover all the socks had been given away. With a heavy heart, he returned to the waiting man, dreading the delivery of his news. As he went, he prayed, “Lord, let me never have to tell another person I’ve run out of socks.” He apologized to his visitor and helped him dry out the clothing he had, sending him on his way.
As the mission director recently related this story to our church, I was moved that such a basic need could cause so much pain. Imagine having your day’s happiness hinge on finding a pair of dry socks, something most of us would take for granted.
Not food. Not shelter. Socks.
In I John 3:17(NKJV), the apostle John writes: “But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? . . .let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.”
Clearly, scripture teaches us to care for those around us. Even providing socks.
Jesus said, in Matthew 25:35-40 (NJKV) “for I was hungry, and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you took me in; I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you visited me; I was in prison and you came to me.”
“Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?”
“Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.”
There’s a happy ending to this story. Our church made the Mission our Christmas giving project in 2014 and 2015, donating 4000 socks to the facility last year and another 5,000 this season. The mission director came to thank us. Everyone who needs sock leaves with warm, dry feet. They’ve not run out since. Answered prayer.