Some years ago I was returning home from work on a city bus in Vancouver. For some reason I began to think about how hard it was to get personally involved with real people in real need. As I thought about this I noticed two dirty men on the bus. They were among the dirtiest people I’ve ever seen. The thought came that I should invite them home for a bath. I had the strong impression that this is what God wanted me to do.
The two men were not sitting close to me, but I could hear their conversation. While I thought about the idea of inviting them home one of them asked a person sitting near them whether they knew of a place where they could go to clean up.
My stop was the end of the bus line at the University of British Columbia. The two men got off at my stop. We got into a conversation about where they could go to clean up. My first suggestion was the UBC swimming pool. I was understandably a little reluctant to invite them home for a bath. The very next words out of my mouth were, “But you are too dirty. They’ll never let you in. You’d better come home with me.” By the time we got to the small apartment where I lived with my husband and three children I’d also invited them to have supper with us. Now I had a problem. How do you tell your husband that you’ve invited dirty hitchhikers home for a bath?
I left them standing outside the building and went in. I spoke very rapidly to my husband, saying, “I’ve invited two dirty hitchhikers home for supper and a bath.” I turned and ran out the door before my husband could respond. The two men ate with us, washed their clothes and had a bath.
It turned out they were bible school students on spring furlough. They had been hitchhiking when it started to rain and had hopped into a train box car that previously carried coal. They were delighted to meet a woman on the bus willing to invite them home for a bath.