How many times do we walk past those who appear lost, broken, and dirty because we are too much in a hurry to go about our daily business? I’ll be honest, I am guilty of it more than not. In the last couple of years alone, I have probably stopped (reluctantly) to speak with someone who society usually tends to ignore only three or four times. That is a sad truth. For me, most of the time it is because I am simply afraid to. Afraid of the unknown of what the person might say or do or being afraid of not knowing what to say. Fear has caused me to shy away from saying anything at all. I am tired of being afraid. More and more on this miracle journey to heaven, I am recognizing where my fear is coming from and that is from the devil. He uses it to keep us from helping others. He uses fear to keep us from spending time seeking God with our whole hearts. He does not want us to move forward in our lives, he wants to keep us captive to fear and sin. And of course he uses fear to keep us from praying because he knows how powerful prayer to the Lord God Almighty is for those who believe. Just like the Scripture says, “When a believing person prays, great things happen.” (James 5:16 TLB) Great things of God that is. That is why I believe we must fight fear like a plague, I do not want to keep letting the enemy win that battle and finally I am at the point to where he is losing more and more.
Today as usual, I was in a hurry as I was leaving the grocery store. As I was exiting quickly with my basket, I happened to look to my left and there was a young man sitting there. I could tell he has been living a rough life for who knows how long. He looked at me and I am not sure if he was trying to say something to me or not, but all that came out of me was “hi” as I kept walking toward the parking lot. That was it. Just “hi.” Well, I am grateful for my connection with the Lord these days because He was not going to let me off that easy. I knew I could not leave without going back after I loaded everything into my car. I won’t lie, I was reluctant as usual. I said to the Lord, “what can I do? I am afraid to speak to him. He’s not going to listen me. He’s probably going to give me a hard time if I talk about You, God.” Can you believe how I was trying to talk myself out of it? I can believe it, because it is usually what happens. Or I find myself relieved the person has walked away out of view and then I feel I am off the hook and say “well I was going to but they’re gone now…oh well, next time.” Next time turned out to be today since that actually just happened to me about a month earlier.
So I mustered up the courage. I grabbed a bottle of water and instead of taking the easy way out (I could have placed my cart next to where I was parked), I walked my cart all the way back to the store building where the young man was sitting. All the way there I had absolutely no idea what I was going to say, but in all my training with the Lord, I suddenly had His boldness and strength in me. I felt confident that He would help me say whatever it was that this young man needed to hear. I did have a thought that maybe I am just supposed to give him a bottle of water, but thankfully God had more in store. The young man watched me coming toward him and I was still wondering what I was doing. I put the cart away and I looked at him and said “What is your name?” As I was handing him a bottle of water he softly spoke and told me and said “God bless you” to me. I immediately became overwhelmed with the Presence of God over both of us. I know this was a divine appointment because the tears started coming from my eyes even before I was able to speak. I got choked up because the love of God was not only pouring out of my heart, it was pouring out of this young man’s heart too. That was the first time that had ever happened to me in the few times that I have mustered up the courage to speak to a soul going through hard times. I got down on my knees so I could be eye level with him. I put my hand on his shoulder without a thought. He opened up to me and told me about what landed him on the streets. I could tell that he had been “roughed up” a bit because he had cuts on his face that had not quite healed yet. He said that he had been jumped a couple of times. He said “today is the day I am going back home to be a man for my family.” He mentioned that others had prayed for him and that he finally had surrendered to God. He said he had been stubborn for too long and he had given his heart to God. He said he needed to go help his mother who was having a hard time. He had already lost his wife due to his choices, but I was so amazed about how he took responsibility and did not blame God or anyone else for his consequences. I shared my testimony of how God rescued me too and he smiled. Mostly, I think I was there to listen and reassure him of God’s love for him.
I will never forget today — how God moved. This was such a good lesson in seeking God for guidance and letting Him lead. He gives us what we need right when we need it. There is no fear when God is in control!
I thought I was supposed to be a blessing for this stranger who looked lost, broken, and living on the streets for too long, but God turned it around and blessed me more than I could have ever imagined. I cannot believe the emotions that came out of me as I was speaking to this man, but it was God’s incredible love pouring through wanting this man to know that he is a child of God and is loved no matter what he has done. The cool thing is, he already knew. Someone else had already broken through and told him. It seems that I was just supposed to be the one today who watered the seed a little more and I trust God will send someone tomorrow and every single day and will keep drawing this man in and will restore him.
On my drive home I cried happy tears thanking and praising God for allowing me this experience. A Natalie Grant song “Clean” played on my radio and I started to cry even more. If you haven’t heard it, please look it up and listen, I believe you will be blessed by it like I was.
Please pray for this man, his name is Steven. I never expected to be blessed the way I was with what happened today. Thank You God and thank you Steven (wherever you may be). There are so many Stevens out there, please pray that they will hear, see, and believe that God has not forgotten about them either. There are so many like me out there, the difference is that I still have a roof over my head. That does not make me better than anyone else.
We see shattered, broken, and dirty but God sees whole, and beautiful. There’s nothing too dirty that He can’t make worthy. He washes us in His mercy and makes us ALL clean. Thank You, Jesus. ♥