My Sundays consist of me waking up with the boys, drinking coffee, checking my very important fantasy football lineup and then getting me and the boys ready for church.
Today was no different, however I had a little welcomed help from a close friend I grew up with that had stayed with me over the holiday weekend.
I prayed this morning for peace, clarity, strength, wisdom, and enlightenment which has been pretty consistent over the last few weeks. I did this in the car on the way to church.
We pull in and as I get out of the car I see a man walking through the parking lot coming from the direction of I-75. He had on a tee shirt that read “I love Jesus” on the front pulled on over a hooded sweatshirt, and toted around a backpack. Not the “usual” character at the church I go to. And to be 100% honest I made an initial profile of this man, which stemmed from my neighbor getting their car stolen from their garage two days before. It is just where my head was at and I can tell you it is not right.
I get the boys out of the car and we take our “baby steps” to the door, which seems like a mile away especially in the winteresque cold that entered Dallas over the past 24 hours. Sorry, I put full blame on you Brody… but its not your fault, you have tiny legs. I love you.
I get the boys dropped off at their Sunday School rooms and proceed to the atrium where I wait on my friends, the Colberg’s to arrive. Something told me to sit on this particular bench, so I did just that.
After sitting for about 30 seconds, which consisted of me just fiddling with my phone I looked up and saw “I love Jesus” on a tee shirt worn by a man holding a coffee that looked like he needed/wanted to talk to someone. We made eye contact, he said “hello” and I followed with a “hello” and invited him to take a seat on the bench with me.
Man: Hi I’m Jason.
Jason: Nice to meet you.
Gabe: You as well. You doing ok?
Jason: Yeah, this is my first time to this church and I accepted Christ into my heart last night.
Well ok, this is going to go well…
Gabe: Really? That is awesome. How did you get there?
Jason: I was in the cold and I just prayed to God… “God if you are real, please give me warmth”. Almost instantly, I got so hot that I had to take my sweatshirt off and was down to my tee shirt and I said right then… “Ok God, no more games, I know you are real and I want you in my heart”.
Gabe: Wow, that is a miracle.
Jason: I have been reading the Bible, so I know enough to know who he is and what it means to give my life to him and I did that last night.
Gabe: That is really amazing, I am so happy you did that. You said you were in the cold, do you not have a place to stay?
Jason: Well, my dad past away a few weeks ago and I have been on my own since. He worked as a District Manager for Chili’s and was on a business trip in Shreveport and I got a call from a nurse asking if I was Jason ____. I told her yes and she replied that my dad was in a car accident and was in a coma. I began to freak out and become anxious. A few hours later the nurse calls back and tells me… “We don’t like to do this over the phone, but your father has passed away.”
Jason and I sat there outside the service for the next 20 minutes while we waited on the Colberg’s and he shared with me that he has no family, no friends, no home, no job, no support, except for a couple that had been bringing him a warm meal every Thursday in the park he was staying in and they would take him to church on Sundays. They did not show this Sunday, so he took the DART and saw this church, and decided to attend.
He shared scripture with me and I can tell you, God is working on this man. He is probably 30 years old and has no where to go with no real support.
I began to think of my situation, which I shared with him and we both felt we were brought together for a reason.
As I sat there looking at this man all I could think about was that I was sitting there talking to Jesus. I don’t know how to explain that thought, it is just how I felt.
We sat together in service, he was very emotional, he was happy, and after the service I introduced him to some of the staff of the church. They are going to take care of him, however I don’t know for how long. All he asked for was for prayers and a shower. He was not a needy person, he was just in need.
I do pray he finds the help he needs, he has an interview on Friday and a drug test tomorrow for a job at Target. I pray he got his shower today, he finds some peace, strength, and that he continues this path with Christ.
I wish I could bring him home and it is something that I have to deal with that I won’t. I can’t help but think I am keeping Jesus away from me and I have to rely on the church to provide something I will not. I will find ways to help him and I do plan to keep him close.
Jason, I am praying for you and I know anyone who reads this will not be able go on with their day without doing the same. You will find your way, I can feel it. You are in a dark, hard place, but just as you told me, you know it will be a long road, but you will make it and you have all the power of the spirit that brought Christ back to life. You are in good hands.
After hearing Jason’s story, I thought a lot about my support. When you gain perspective in real life of someone else’s situation, you can’t help but appreciate things a little more.
I have heat, I have warm showers, I have food… I have a home.
I have the most incredible support system from friends and family that is getting me through the most difficult time in my entire life. For that, this Thanksgiving in November of 2011 I am thankful.
I am also thankful that Jason and I share one thing in common. We both lean on the Lord who we know to be real. Whether we need a little strength to get through the day filled without the one person that I loved more than anything or he just needs a little heat, HE is there.