Here’s what happened:
(You can jump to the next section, if you already read about this story somewhere else)
It was a cold November night (14th) as Officer Larry DePrimo encountered a barefoot, homeless man begging on Time Square. Larry’s immediate reaction was to go inside the nearby Sketchers store and buy a pair of $100 boots to give to the man.
As it so happened, Jennifer Foster, a tourist from Florence, Ariz., not only witnessed the generous act, but captured the moment with a cellphone photo (picture to the left). She emailed it to the NYPD, which then posted the shot on itsFacebook page, reports The New York Times.
Since then this random act of kindness went viral all over the social web with the picture itself generation 350,000 “likes”, 85,000 “shares” and over 1,6 million views. The story was also discussed on national morning TV the next day.
DePrimo, who said his own feet were freezing that night (despite his wearing two pairs of socks), still keeps the Skechers receipt in his vest, to remind him “that sometimes people have it worse.”
“He was the most polite gentleman I had met,” DePrimo told The Times, adding that the man’s face lit up at the sight of the boots.
And while the officer also offered him a cup of coffee, “as soon as the boots were on him,” DePrimo said, “he went on his way, and I just went back to my post.”
The two never so much as exchanged names. – Source: People Magazine
Here are 3 things I think Christians can learn from Officer DePrimo.
1. Never Underestimate the Positive Impact of Your Actions
It’s interesting to me how millions of dollars have been spent to visualize the negative powers of humanity’s action on the future in movies, novels and tv shows.Did anyone ever dare to dream of the incredible positive consequences our actions today can have on tomorrow? It’s stunning what kind of a positive chain reaction one single random act of kindness can create. I go into more detail on this topic and related testimonies in the article “What Every Christian Needs to Know about Heavenly Butterfly Effects“
2. Allow God to Lead You by Compassion
After talking to many revivalists throughout the years, I’ve come to the conclusion that compassion usually is the number one way God grabs our attention. Fourteen times can we read in the Gospels that Jesus was moved by compassion for people. I wrote a lot more on the importance of compassion and how to grow in it in my guest article “How God speaks through Compassion” on Phil Drysdale’s blog.
3. Actions Speak Louder than Words
For centuries now certain pockets of Christianity have been yelling “repent!” and “Jesus loves you!” into the masses, not understanding that God really called us to become His manifestation of love on this planet instead of only talking about it. It’s marvelous to me how Christians around the world believe a “holy lifestyle” to consist of hiding in the four walls of the church and pointing fingers at everyone “outside”, while Jesus himself spent most of his time surrounded by sinners and outcasts. I’m certainly not saying that we should stop talking and writing about the love of God, but I’d like to see what happened if a generation decided to actually become the solution people are searching for.
Sometimes all they need is an encouraging word, a smile, or a pair of boots. At the end of the day the greatest thing we can do it to effectively communicate the Father’s love in a way that’s relevant, understandable and impactful to the people around us.
What are you thoughts about this story? Does it inspire you? What else do you think Christians can learn from DePrimo?
Let me know by leaving a comment below. I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts.