Working on a Dream




Saturday, June 1, 2013

An UNcommon Office Visit

A question I get a lot from others is, "What do you do at your workplace?"
After telling them about preparing for Sunday school, the children's message and youth group. And after I tell them about meetings, readings, and praying. And after I tell them about moving chairs, tables and occasionally putting more toilet paper in the bathrooms. When I start telling people about pre and post marital counseling, newsletter and bulletin information, funerals, crisis-counseling, hospital visits, and ... people usually just smile and walk away.
However, today was a different story.  Today I sat with Steven.
I did not know Steven, he just walked into the church and into my office and into my life. Steven had on a white T-shirt with a hole in it, an over- sized jacket, and a pair of stain-filled pants. He was carrying a plastic shopping bag with all of his belongings; including his Mad Dog 20/20.

-Steven was homeless and was drunk.

I invited Steven to sit down and talk. He did.
For an hour.
We talked about everything from alcohol, to family, to Jesus. Steven told me about how alcohol ravaged his own life and the lives of his family. He told me about the many, many cities and towns he had been roaming over the course of his life. He talked to me about his two children and how he had not seen them in over six years. Humorously, later on in the conversation, Steven decided that I needed "a buddy." He said, "I needed someone outside of the church that I can just talk with."
He then decided that he was that buddy.
I said OK.

On our way out of the church, I ended up giving him a Bible and then we walked over to McDonald's for some food. We both had a sandwich and then I bought him one more to bring with him. I also convinced the manager to give him a coffee on our way out the door.

When we left McDonald's, I asked if I could pray with him and he obliged. Afterward, I asked him to imagine what his life would be like without the drink. And how without the booze, he could use his life as a positive influence for others. After Steven walked away, I hoped that God would get a hold of him and that Steven would turn his life around.

All of this got me thinking:
You never know who God is going to bring into your life. The reason that I wrote about this is because something similar happened to me just last week. Maybe the reason God had entrusted these people to me is because I have shown myself faithful? I am not sure, but what I am sure about is when you are faithful with the little things then you will be faithful with the bigger things.

And this is about as BIG as you can get. God sending a hurting person your way... is perhaps like Him saying, "Of all the people in the world, I am sending Steven your way. So Anthony, look at his heart more than his clothes."

Jesus said, "I say unto you, whatever you have done to the least of these you have done to Me"  (Mathew 25:45). The greatest aspect about our meeting was not the food or the things I gave him, but the time and the conversation that took place between us. I wanted Steven to know that I was taking him serious. I wanted him to know that I was someone that was not going to give him a Bible and tell him that God loves him -and then send him back out into the streets...

Steven told me at McDonald's that he has been to literally hundreds of churches in his life but he has only had this kind of encounter once. That made my day.
I was glad that for Steven I was someone who stood out from among the many and made a difference in his life.
Steven, wherever you are today, you are still my buddy.
Come back and talk to me whenever you want.

written 2 summers ago

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