Printer FriendlyTopic: Compassion
Author: Illustration Exchange
Scripture: Matthew 25:39-40; Proverbs 19:17
Source: “French Tourist Who Gave Food to ‘Hobo’ Richard Gere: ‘I Don’t Believe This'” by ABC News, as featured on Good Morning America, published on ABC News Blogs, retrieved 4/29/14

A French tourist visiting New York City made headlines this week as she offered food to one whom she assumed to be a homeless man. “I gave my doggy bag to a homeless [man], and the homeless is Richard Gere,” Karin Gombeau told ABC News.

“He was going through a [garbage] bin, I had food with me,” she said. “I thought, ‘He should have my pizza instead of going through that bin.’ ”

Gombeau looked right into the eyes of the “homeless” man and did not recognize him to be a famous Hollywood A-lister. He was dressed in tattered clothes and appeared quite dirty and disheveled.

No, Gere is not down on his luck and living on the streets of NYC. “It turns out,” reports ABC Entertainment News, “Gombeau had stumbled onto the set of Gere’s new movie, ‘Time Out of Mind,’ in which Gere, 64, plays a homeless man.”

“He was dressed in a way, with a cap, not shaved,” she said of the actor’s unbecoming appearance. “He looked like a man going through a rough time.”

Gere never broke character. He took the leftovers from her, thanked her, and said, “God bless you.”

Gombeau had no idea whom she had “helped” until seeing her picture the next morning on the news. Yup, the whole thing was caught on camera! (Click the link to source above for a picture.)

Gombeau was delighted to learn the truth behind her act of charity. “For a first time in New York, I could not have wished for better.”


Who hasn’t come across someone who is down on their luck? In those moments, no one expects that the person in need might turn out to be an important celebrity, or that an act done in secret will be splashed across the news. Think again.

“When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?” The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:39-40).

“… good deeds done in secret will someday come to light” (1 Timothy 5:2).

“Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward them for what they have done” (Proverbs 19:17).

Every kindness, every act of compassion done in God’s name is received as if it is done for Him. So don’t be taken by surprise the next time you stumble onto God’s set with the opportunity to serve the King of kings!

Want More Illustrations On This Topic?  Click Illustration Exchange Now!