March 1, 2006

Number 14

The day started off with a bang. From the moment the door opened at 10 a.m. Monday morning, the waiting room was full. I began to process the clients as quickly as I could. There was no time to waste.

“Number 14,” I called. A man shuffled his way onto the seat in front of my desk. He looked tired, disheveled and forlorn.

“How are you?” I asked.

“I don’t know,” he mumbled.

“Is something wrong, Dennis?”

“Well, yeah. I fell and hurt this foot eight months ago, and it just won’t heal,” he replied.

“Do you believe in God?”

“I know there is a higher power out there, but I don’t believe that He cares about us humans,” he said. As we chatted, I sensed a sadness in his voice. Although there were more clients waiting to be processed, I felt an urgency to continue our conversation.

Someone in the waiting room began to murmur, “What is taking so long?”

A man answered him, “This is where you can get spiritual counseling too.”

Back at my desk, I turned to Dennis and asked him if he had a Bible. He did. He knew the story of the flood and who Jesus was. But he couldn’t believe that it was true. How could it be? How could a loving God allow such suffering? He was homeless. Where could he go? There was nothing for him to look forward to but pain and misery.

I opened my Bible and began to read. “Let not your heart be troubled. Ye believe in God. Believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you -- Dennis -- and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you -- Dennis -- unto Myself, that where I am, there ye -- Dennis -- may be also.” *

Dennis began to cry. Tears flowed freely down his parched cheeks. Was Jesus really preparing a place for him in heaven? It seemed too good to be true. We prayed together. Then he took his seat at the waiting room.

“Number 15,” I called. A middle-aged lady sauntered over to my desk.

“It was beautiful,” she said to me.

“I beg your pardon?”

“What you said to that man. I heard every word,” the lady said. “The Holy Spirit was with you."

*John 14:1-3

11 comments:

Mr. D said...

Eagle,
I am not sure I should take your story literally, but it used to happen about that way daily to me. I was a chaplain for the homeless in LA, and I saw many men change their lives in just that way. Some of them I have kept contact with 25 years later, and God is awesome in their lives.
Pat

Eagle said...

I volunteer at the Community Services and many of our clients are homeless. In addition to providing for their physical needs of food and clothing we are there also to meet their spiritual needs.

Just this morning a man came in. He was very apologetic. He didn't want to abuse our kindness. All he wanted was a picture of Jesus and something spiritual to read in addition to the Bible which he already owned. He said he wanted to fill his mind with more good things. I gave him 2 books. One was "The Marked Bible" and the other was "The Passion" of Jesus Christ. I also found him an 11x14 pencil sketch of Jesus holding a little lamb. His face lighted up with pure joy. He was so happy. You'd think he had just stumbled onto a treasure chest, for indeed he had, in the spiritual sense.

Mr. D said...

That is an awesome Story! Thanks.
Pat

Anonymous said...

Nice story, but those of us who don't read the comments would think it was Debora working at her nursing job. At least that is what I was thinking. Also, what do you do for follow up on people like that? Do you invite them to prayer meetings, church,etc.? How old was the person. I picture someone about 30 or 30, tall and thin with a bit of beard. It doesn't matter, just sharing my mental images.

Eagle said...

Hi Mike,

I figured since this is my blog and I wrote the story in first person and there was no other author indicated by whom this was written, I naturally took it for granted that people would accept this experience as mine to share.

Anyhow, sorry if I misled you to think otherwise. This shows my lack of writing skills. I've got lots yet to learn. What lessons may I glean from this?

Thank you for your comments. I do appreciate them. Come visit again soon.

Eagle said...

Hi again Mike,

I forgot to answer your other questions.

How old was this person in the article? He was probably around 35 or so. No, he did not have a beard and he was about average size.

You asked if we invite people to prayer meetings or to church, etc. We take advantage of the different venues we find available. Tracts, literature and Bibles are given out freely. Sacred music is played either on CDs or on the TV screen. Many times we pray with them right then and there. Cards of encouragement are also sent out to those who have a mailing address.

In addition, slips of paper and pencil are provided for them to write their prayer requests. We open and read and pray for each one at our staff worship. Some clients have returned to tell us of how God answered their prayer requests.

Invitations to church and Bible studies are encouraged. A couple was baptized only last week as a result of a followup in Bible studies.

Keep in mind that the person in this story was a homeless individual. Until his physical needs were met he was not ready for spiritual food. However, the door was opened so that he may catch a glimpse of Christ's love as the Holy Spirit continues to work in his life.

jeanie said...

see you in two months. i was there when this story happened.

Eagle said...

Hi Jeanie,

You are a wonderful lady and I appreciate all that you do for the down and out. May God's blessing be poured out richly upon you and your family always.

Eagle said...

Mr. D,

Thank you for your very welcomed comments. I can tell that you are a man of God.

Jim said...

Not only an inspiring story, but a TRUE account! Eagle, the Lord is working through you to bless others! Never for a moment ever think that your service for the Lord is for nought!

Eagle said...

Thank you for your encouragement, Jim. I needed that.