Thursday, July 30, 2009

Stop the Crying

So yesterday as I walked downtown I had one of the most weird yet normal experiences. On Tuesday's and Wednesdays we simply walk around downtown and see which friends we run into and simply hangout with them.

Well as we were walking I met eyes with this older homeless man. I smiled and said hey and something felt like I was supposed to talk to him. So as we talked I found out his name was Ronald. He was obviously drunk and who knows what else. So I asked Ronald if there was anything I could pray for him about. He got very excited and was more than willing. He was clearly a spiritual man. So right there in the middle of downtown he gets on his hands and knees and allows me to pray for him. As I finish he looks up and tears are running down his face. He then looks at me and Jo and asks if he can pray as well. The first words he said was, "Dear Jesus, please help me stop my crying." Wow. He almost had me going right there. My heart just broke as I wondered how many people are praying out this same prayer every day? Who is looking up to God and begging him to stop the crying? So this was all pretty normal but there was something about the feeling I had as I prayed for Ronald and as him and I talked.

Say what you want... maybe he was drunk, maybe he has mental problems, or maybe he was just faking it all; but I honestly believe the Holy Spirit was moving. Ronald kept looking at me, and telling me he had seen me before. Over and over he looked into my eyes and said, "I have seen you. I know I have, I have seen you somewhere." I didn't know what to say but I simply told him that everyone has tears and that he should remember that God loves him. Then as we shook hands he looks at me and says, "You know me. I don't know how you do, but I can tell that you know me."

Lord, I have never seen him before in my life but my prayer is that you will wipe away the tears of Ronald and everyone else who is crying out to you. Lord comfort those who are in need.

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. Revelations 21:4

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Sharing Faith through Life

A week from yesterday, I met a new friend named Dawn. Dawn told me about her occupation of "flying a sign." Flying a sign simply means sitting on a corner with a cardboard box with words written like, "help feed my family of four." To people who live on the streets, this is what they consider work. They get up early and end late and they call this working. Some days they will strike big and earn $200 and some days barely get by with $20. Dawn told me that she had a man stop and give her $5o. He looked at her and said, "here is $50, now I want you to go for the day and just let God take care of the rest." For the past few weeks, Dawn had told me that a lot of her friends and random people have been talking to her about Jesus. She, however, grew up pagan. She has never believed in God and has always been a bit suspicious. However, she told me that just recently she is starting to question everything. It was an awesome conversation that sounds deep but was really just a simple conversation. So I told her right then that God is wanting her. That he is seeking her out, that he loves her, and that he has a plan for her. It was so casual that I wasn't sure how serious she took it but she responded by saying she knew and that she is going to keep searching. I'm very excited for her.

At the same picnic I met an older homeless man named Randy. He looked like Tom Selleck. So Randy told me he served during the gulf war, that he believes in God, and that he has had headaches ever since. We talked for a little bit about God, life, heroin (which he doesn't do, but has many friends that do), and much more. As we ended our conversation, I asked if I could pray for his headaches. He asked if I would pray for him to find the right influences to hang out with as well. I prayed for him right there and it was such an encouragement to my faith to see a man so down on his luck fully believing and relying on God. I haven't seen him since, I don't know what happened after, but I pray that Randy continues to see God and that he seeks him every single day.

So as I got to experience this with my two new friends, I think about some of the close friends I made right from the start. My friends Cami and Simon are both friends that I really clicked with. I loved seeing them and looked forward to running into them every day. However, for the past 3 or 4 weeks I have not seen them. They are precious children of God and I never talked to them once about God. I pray every day that I did not miss my opportunity to share Jesus with them. I pray that Jesus is visible through my life and my actions. I believe this shows the importance of living a life worth of God's calling and also the importance of sharing your faith. It is through life, actions, and words that we share our faith. Hopefully I will see them again soon. Please continue to pray for the lost, not just on the streets but everywhere. Pray for my last four weeks and pray that I continue to be sensitive to what God is telling me to do.