(Originaly written 3/16/07) Yesterday, I was downtown for a meeting at Leapin’ when Brenda and I ran across a gentleman by the name of Sam (name changed for their sake). He stopped by because he is homeless and had used up the resources he had here in Marion and needed to go to Columbus
to stay at a Homeless shelter there. It was obvious that things had been rough here of late from his clothes and outward appearance and his testimony that he shared confirmed what the stereotyping would suggest. Life had obviously been tough on him.
At church, we have been talking a lot about people who are hurting and going through tough times, especially this past week during So Help Me God message.
Well, Sam needed a bus ticket and we needed a lunch buddy so it worked out. In talking with him, we found out he was raised in Marion and was here visiting his mom. Sam has some mental challenges that have affected his life but he is also a caring man who claims Christ as his Savior and knows a decent amount of Scripture. He passed on one of his biggest challenges is people see the way he looks and then almost anything he has to say, they just caulk him up as being crazy. Yes, there were some mannerisms or situations were you can tell Sam has some challenges but over all, I thought about how many people are missing out on the person who we were visiting with.
Jesus has a special place in His heart for people in need……
Matthew 25: 34-40 (NIV)
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 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, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
Sometimes it can hard not to be the person God wants to use as the answer. Sometimes it can be easy to not want to be that answer so we justify that we are not the answer when God has put it right in front of us. Hmmmmm……
There are great people like Sam out there who have had a rough time of it and need some friends. Will you be that friend to the hurting?
Book Recommendation: Under the Overpass by Mike Yankski
Mike and Sam found their beds under bridges and received handouts from strangers for five months . . . by their own choice. Yankoski gives a firsthand account of their story, providing insight into the reality of street life.
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’
So, is it my job to fix the problems of all the homeless folks in the world? No, but it is my job to help those God entrusts to me. Rather that be through Leapin’ or rather it be meeting someone on the street. Looking for those Spirit lead moments to act into the lives of others. I have met good friends to good one time conversations with folks who are struggling.
Sam wasn’t the only person I met yesterday that needed a bus ticket. While Sam and I were at Greyhound, another person came up and asked me to buy them one because they were stranded. The downside is Greyhound does not accept Visa and I had $16 for Sam’s $15 ticket. Why didn’t it work out for me to help the other person? I tend to think maybe God has a purpose for that person to be stranded or maybe he has someone else planned to meet the need of that person. I do not know and that can be hard.