Yesterday I was headed to pick up dinner for me and my kidos. (Yes..I took the night off. You moms get it!) I encountered the ultimate workout of hanging on when you want to give up. As I was driving along, about to turn into my destination, I saw the figment of hopelessness. A man, sitting in a wheel chair, at the bus stop, with blood on his face. His skin was dark and leathery and he had a beard that made him look like a castaway.
My heart sunk.
I was bothered. I had two choices, pray for God to send someone to help him, or ask God if he was asking me to help him. If you know me at all, you can trust that you are going to get honesty from me. There’s no life in the darkness. Life and organic growth happens in the light. So here’s my honest. I was afraid to ask God, because I KNEW he was going to ask me to do something. Something in line with Matthew 25:40 was beginning to pound in my head and through my heart. I knew that the Kingdom was proposing to me. “Would you like to be with us?”. So I asked. And I heard.
“Offer him something to eat.”
My next wretched response was “But I didn’t order enough food for him and all of us.” An awkward pause came next. Wait a minute! I caught myself and instantly knew that was not my true self replying. My old self was trying to negotiate with God. I knew I was suppose to give him what I had ordered to eat. My pantry is busting at the seams with edible food, surely I would get along just fine. I told the Lord if the man was still there when I was leaving I would give him my food to eat.
I picked up our food and walked towards my car. I noticed that my car was perfectly parked with no car in front if it, in a very jammed parking lot. It was positioned just right so I could drive right towards that bus stop without any obstacles in my way. I knew God was saying “Go ahead now..go ahead.”
There was a part of me that was hoping he was not there. I was hoping he had become someone elses burden. But nope..there he was. I pulled my car over and walked towards him. As I was walking I felt the heavy coat of mocking and absurdity trying to weigh me down. “Are you crazy! What are you doing?”, “You’re 5ft nothing and you’re going to do what? He could hurt you!” All of it true..but I knew the Kingdom was saying to come. This was “weight” loss training at it’s finest. I had to throw off everything that hindered me and follow. (Hebrews 12:1) God was calling.
I could smell his body before I could see his face. As I got closer, he looked like the man on the side of the road bleeding, only someone had given this man a wheelchair. I knelt down beside him and told him the Lord had told me to bring him some food. “Are you hungry” I asked. He was startled and then he began to mumble.Then he began to cry. Between his sobs and mumbles he was asking me to push his chair to the other side of the sidewalk over towards Subway. Certainly I could do that. So I pushed.
As I pushed I began to notice other dining out people noticing us. They had one of two reaction; a bewildered look with a quick turn away or a concerned look and they kind of stood post off to the side. As if to say “If something goes down..I’m going to be her back up.” I felt comforted by the care and even the awkward stares. I knew that God was working in everyone’s heart whether they stayed or walked away.
I parked his chair over by Subway and knelt down again and asked him what he was going to do now that he was here. He began to cry again. And this time he wept. He moaned. Then, much to my surprise, a holy encounter took place. He began to speak and pour out scripture between his cries. I was witnessing the cry of the poor. I had never seen anything quite that raw and pure. His fresh tears began carving tracks through his dried blood. My heart was pounding.
I quickly did the only thing I knew to do; I knew to latch on to this fast moving train of holy. I grabbed his hand and began to pray over him and speak scripture with him. And I mean I PRRRayed! And then it was silent. I asked him his name. He told me his name is Lance. He began holding my hand tighter, and I became scared. I breathed deeply and moved my hand back into my own comfort zone and told Lance that God has not forgotten him. “You are his beautiful son Lance. You know Him. He is with you now. This wheelchair and blood on your face is not your forever Lance. Hang on Lance. Hang on.”
And that was it. I walked away towards my car feeling very small and very helpless, yet I had a peace that I just saw the face of God in Lance.
The dirtiness, smelliness and brokenness of Lance followed me the rest of the night. To overcome that grief I kept preaching to my soul ” Sunday is coming. Sunday is coming.”
Today is Good Friday. This day Jesus took the nails so that you and I, and Lance, would be washed clean and would rise up from our wheelchairs and walk. Wherever addiction (aka idolatry) lives, it must realize it’s only in temporary housing. God is not done with Lance. God is not done with you. God is not done with me.
For Jesus, the cross was just a pit stop on the way to glory. You and I get to hitch a free ride on the train of his long white robe. Our part…hang on. Our never ending workout… hang on. Be faithful. Be in it for the long haul as he go deep with you. He heals the deep spaces.
Sunday is coming.
Feel free to comment below and tell me how crazy I am. I won’t listen to you. OR you can go ahead and comment below and share how much you have in common with our brother Lance and how God is renovating your heart to look like His beautiful Son’s heart. Let’s talk!