Max Lucado tells about living as an American in Brazil. One day, as he was walking along the street on his way to the University to teach a class, he felt a tug on his pants leg. Turning around, he saw a little boy about 5 or 6 years old with dark beady eyes and a dirty little face. The little boy looked up at the big American and said, “Peo, Senor. Bread, Sir.”
There was a little beggar boy, and Lucado said, “There are always little beggar boys in the streets of Brazil. Usually I turn away from them because there are so many, and you can’t feed them all. But there was something so compelling about this little boy that I couldn’t turn away. So, taking his hand, I said, “Come with me,” and I took him into a coffee shop.”
He told the owner, “I’ll have a cup of coffee and give the boy a piece of pastry, whatever he wants.” Since the coffee counter was at the other end of the store, he walked on, and got a cup of coffee, forgetting about the little boy because beggar boys usually get the bread and then run back out into the street and disappear.
But this one didn’t. After he received his pastry, he went over to the big American and just stood there until Lucado felt his staring eyes. Lucado said, “I turned and looked at him. Standing up, his eyes just about hit my belt buckle. Then slowly his eyes came up until they met mine.” The little boy, holding his pastry in one hand, looked up and said, “Thank you, sir. Thank you very much.”
Lucado said, “I was so touched by the boy’s thanks that I would have bought him the store. I sat there for another 30 minutes, late for my class, just thinking about a little beggar boy who came back and said, “Thank you.””
I can’t help but wonder if God feels the same way. I wonder if His heart bubbles inside when we, His children, come to Him and say, “Thank you, Sir. Thank you very much.” But more than that, I wonder how often we are like all the rest of the beggar boys, we get what we want, and then we run and disappear, never returning to say, “Thanks.”
You know…, Jesus had a time like that happen to Him. In Luke chapter 17, Jesus encounters ten men with leprosy. The Bible tells us that after being healed, one of them, “came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked Him…” But then, I want you to notice what Jesus asks. In verse 17 Jesus says, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?”
Do we tend to be a part of the nine that received their blessing, and then went on their way and never returned? Like the beggar boys, do we disappear and forget to come back and say, “Thanks?” Or…, are we that one grateful person that returns to God, falls at His feet, and simply says, “Thanks!” It’s my prayer that we are like this one leper, and the little beggar boy that Lucado encountered. When was the last time that you truly thanked God?