What do we do?

I met the sweetest homeless man the other day.  Balentine spoke broken English, had a kind face, and looked like he was in his early to mid 50’s.  Out of the group of homeless we were with, he stood out among the crowd.  He smiled at Andy and I a few times and I caught him watching our family, like he wanted to come over and talk to us but didn’t know what to say.

We were cleaning up our food trays when he came up to me and started talking to me.  He asked me if I needed any landscaping done or if I knew of anyone who was looking for a good worker.  I briefly explained that we weren’t from around here and his faced dropped.  He explained to me that he was looking for work because the people that he works for are out of town on vacation.  Like I said, it was broken English so I couldn’t catch the whole story, but got the gist.  Then he looked at me and said something that made me cry right on the spot.  “You are pretty…and nice.  Not very many pretty girls are nice, but you are both.”  He said it with so much sincerity that I knew he was seeing Jesus and NOT me.  I could barely speak at that moment and I think he felt uncomfortable that I was crying so he started to turn to leave.  But somehow I composed myself enough to ask him if I could pray for him.  After we prayed he asked me why we were traveling.  I got to share with him what we were doing and when I was all done talking, his eyes were all lit up and he started sharing his heart.  He shared that he would LOVE to do something like what we are doing and that he has had some opportunities to go down to Mexico to deliver some things.  Whenever he went down to Mexico he would spend his time playing soccer and other games with the kids in the streets, knowing that many of their parents were up here in the States, just like he was.  He started crying at this point and expressed how much he wished he could just do that all the time.  He went on to say how he just felt complete when he was with those kids down in Mexico.  Again, I was speechless.  At first I almost just said, “well, then do it!”.  But then God held me back and whispered to me, “There is more.”

Balentine continued to share with me that him and his wife had been separated for 6 years, his kids were slightly estranged from him and he didn’t have many reasons to live up here anymore.  His tears got bigger as he explained that he was homeless, he was in AA, and that it had been hard for him to keep going.  The story had been unfolded right before my eyes.

I can’t tell you how many stories of broken families we have heard over the course of 3 years, working with the poor and homeless.  Broken homes, addiction, and mental illness.  These 3 things are a common thread in every story we hear.  It makes me overwhelmed at times, thinking of the millions of Balentines who could be on fire for Jesus, but have been caught in the crossfire of the enemy’s arrows.  It makes it hard for people to love Jesus and do Kingdom work when their lives are so messed up with hurt and confusion, isn’t it?

So how is this epidemic going to be stopped?  Is it Goodwill handing out clothing, soup kitchens feeding people, home makeovers that give people all new stuff?  No,  it is individuals, who love Jesus, that decide to take a step of faith and go to these people and decide to learn how to love.  It is an up close and personal, relationship thing. (I am not saying that Goodwill, United Way or other agencies are insignificant, but they are not the solution.)  These people who have been caught in the crossfire of the enemy’s arrow, whether it had to do with their decisions, need to know they have Hope and that they are loved.  And it starts with tangible, touchy, helpful love from people who know they are loved by the One who can handle this darkness that lingers all over our world.

After we left Balentine I was so angry at the devil, I was saddened that I had to leave my new friend, I was happy to have met him and shared a moment with him, and I left wondering what would happen to him.  So, I’m praying that the Lord would keep him, strengthen him and put believers in his path that would really love him.

Please pray with me.

We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.  1 John 2:3-6


One Response

  1. what a precious moment. thank you Lord this man to bless her heart today. Love you, KI

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