Posts tagged ‘homeless man’

March 30, 2018

“John 3:16 — true story.”




I was leaving the drop-in after movie night when a 40-ish black man stopped me on a street corner. “I want that!” he said, pointing to my shirt. “You should give it to me.”

The words on the shirt said simply, “John 3:16 — true story.” I cracked a joke and resumed my walk. “No!” he insisted. “I really do want to talk to you.” He explained that he knew me and what I do, knew that I change lives and wanted that.

He then dropped a familiar name, a former client who had gotten sober, come to Jesus and turned his life around. “I want what he has,” he said. Of course, I told him that it was Jesus who had changed the client’s life and is responsible for anything that I ever accomplish.

He asked me to mentor him. As a first step, I asked him to find a church to worship in regularly and a Bible study to attend regularly. I cautioned him not to fall into the “fixer trap” – to attend not as a homeless man but as just another sinner seeking to find out how better to follow Jesus.

We prayed together on that street corner, asking Jesus to encourage him and to help his wife, who he told me is entangled deeply in denial and addiction.

I’ll be praying for this man and I am keeping in my heart the fact that people are always watching and we may never know who or when the spirit effects people through our actions.

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November 27, 2008

Thankful for Grace


Today is Thanksgiving. I am taking a holiday from ministry until Monday. However, as I thought about thankfulness, this story came to my mind from this past Monday…

Mark was sitting on the bench of the trailer when I went in. He was an older man, rough and rugged looking, but very thin and slight. He smiled but didn’t say much to me. He followed the conversations but didn’t tell any stories of his own. When it was time for him to go, he asked for prayers. Everyone else was working to clean the trailer at closing time, so I asked Mark to step outside. I asked him what he would like me to pray for. He answered that his children needed prayer. One was about to lose his home. One was about to have a baby. And one was not in touch. He asked that the parents-to-be would be a better parent than he had been to his children. I asked Mark if he was Christian, and he responded yes without hesitation. I asked if his kids were Christian, and he confirmed they were. So I laid hands on Mark, and he grabbed my hand as I prayed. I first prayed as he had asked me to, but I was overcome with the need to pray for Mark to forgive himself and to receive healing. As I prayed about how Jesus has forgiven Mark of his troubled past as a parent, he began to cry openly. I prayed for reunification within his family, for strength and protection, and most of all for forgiveness and healing between them all — grace enough to cover them all. We finished and he gave me a big hug.
I heard yesterday that his daughter unexpectedly called Mark and that he is on his way to see her!
I am thankful on this Thanksgiving Day for the grace of God, the sacrifice of Jesus, and the gift of the Holy Spirit — they are all that separate us from disaster. And they are what brings joy into our lives, making it more than survival but true living.