Sunday, March 12, 2017
Stranger In Our Midst
Wouldn't it be great if life came at us all wrapped in pretty paper, tied up with these beautiful bows?
That for every question that was thrown at us, we had the answer?
Unfortunately it doesn't happen that way, does it?
There are some adrift out there who simply are content to ride the waves and currents of life, allowing themselves to be taken where ever the current goes. They stand outside what some would refer to as "the norm" of life.
He came in off the street last night just as the meeting was cranking up. Didn't take a detective to see that he was homeless. Had his worldly possessions in a knapsack, a duffel bag, and a gym bag. Since the weather was chilly and damp, he had on multiple layers of clothing in an effort to stay warm. His voice was deep and raspy, and hard to understand as he stammered over his words, choosing them carefully. He did manage to relay that he was sleepy. Seems as though he had not slept in some time. I knew that hot coffee, a warm room, and a cushioned chair just might be his undoing, but that was o.k.
We chatted for a brief moment. Told him I was glad that he'd come to the meeting and gave him the rundown on where the bathrooms were, how long the meeting would last, and a general description of who were were and what we were all about. Showed him the refreshment table where he could get a cup of hot coffee and a brownie. He seemed grateful. Made his way into the room, found a seat and settled in. About 3/4's of the way through his coffee, he was gone. Sleep over took him and claimed him as a victim.
After the meeting was over, we like to have never gotten him awake. He finally managed to rouse up, collect himself and his belongings to head back out into the night. "Do you need a ride? Can we take you somewhere? How 'bout if we get you a room for the night? Do you need any food, or can we give you some money to help you with whatever you need?" Our questions were met with "No"...
We did manage to get him a sleeping bag, as someone familiar with this man knew his history. That his M.O. was to find a spot where he could settle in to sleep. He wasn't real particular about the "Where" as much as he was staying dry and warm.
Shouldering his load, he moved through the door and out into the darkness. Here in is the big dilemma. You can't save everyone. You can't save those who don't want help. Be nice if we could. Be wonderful, like I said at the first of this posting, if every person we met had a happy ending. But that isn't the way life operates, is it? Sometimes the best you can do is to simply love folks and pray for them. So here goes.....
I come to you on behalf of the man who came to us last night....
I pray that even though he was asleep through most of the meeting, that something that was said stuck in his mind and heart. I ask that the love we showed him would strengthen his faith and belief that he does matter, and that you care for him.
Lord, keep the enemy at bay from this man. Don't allow him to be destroyed, but that you place others who love you in his path. Let him run into your followers daily, that he might be brought to a place of salvation.
Mercy upon this one who graced our presence.
In Jesus name...
The King will answer and say to them, "truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me."
"For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink. I was a stranger, and you invited Me in, naked and you clothed Me. I was sick and you visited Me. I was in prison, and you came to Me."
God on you....
Had to go into town yesterday to take care of some business, and along the way I stopped by American Thrift Store. I have taken up the ha...