I wish that I had more to give.
Tonight while driving home from work I saw a man without a shirt pushing a shopping cart. He was a really skinny man with out a shirt and I could tell that he is homeless. I've seen him a time or two before and I know it is the same guy because on his cart was a cross made out of some sticks tied together with a ratty bit of string. Every time I have seen this guy, I have looked at that cross on the cart that he pushes and have felt this strong desire to know more about him.
As I was driving home from work I thought about a story that my former girlfriend had told me from when back we were dating. She had told me about how she met a person who was homeless and how she raced home to get food and water and anything that she could find to give this person, praying that when she got back to her that she would still be there. I recalled how she shared the gospel with this woman. How she and her roommate sat and shared with her. How they hugged her. I thought about that story as I was driving home tonight and passed this man pushing a cart with a make shift cross. I flipped the car around because I had to talk to him.
I pulled into the nearest driveway and scrambled for any change that i had, any food that might be in there and I had this overwhelming need to give this stranger SOMETHING. It wasn't out of some sort of sense of pity, but a near compulsion to re-enforce a part of the body in need.
I looked around my car and all I have, is a dollar forty five, and three empty Dr.Pepper $ coke cans. I am not sure what to say to this guy, but I am feeling driven to talk to him." Homeless people like collect cans, that's my in" I think, so I grab them and walk over to talk to him.
He tells me his name is Larry as I ask about the cross. HE asks me if I am a christian and I tell him that I am. We make some conversation about how I have seen him around. I look at his lack of shirt and ask if he needs one. Larry pokes around in his cart and pulls out a few, as I was prepared to literally give him the one off my back. "Do you need a shirt?" I ask him realizing that my shirt would look like a tent over his lean wiry frame. I have to ask him, " Larry, how did you get here? What is your testimony?"
I was prepared for a story involving sin or drugs or some mistake. I was ready for some excuse or justification and what I heard surprised me. The man spoke coherently and with conviction as he told me that as he read the bible, he felt led to give up everything. Larry went on to talk about how he gave up everything to follow Christ and he walks the streets passing out christian literature. He says that he has set his sights on treasures in the world to come. A pain hits his voice as he wonders aloud if he made some wrong choice somewhere.
" His yoke is easy and his burden in light... That's is what his word says. My life hasn't been easy. It hasn't been comfortable. I wonder if I made a mistake. " My heart is torn at this. I look in the eyes of this man who looks like nothing by the standards of the world. I look at this man with thick 70's glasses and thinning hair and my heart hurts. This man is more noble than many, and we as a people look on him as not.
I ask him if he has a bible and he assures me that he does. After handing him the three cans and the dollar forty five I wished that I had more to give. I don't but I know who does. " can I pray with you larry?" I ask. The noble man with a heavy heart smile like a parched man receiving water. I placed my hand on his bare shoulder and I began to pour out my heart before God on his behalf. Praying blessings, Praying for provision, Praying for re-enforcements, Praying for opportunities to minister. You can't get much more in the trenches than that, where Larry is.