Published Nov. 3, 2009
Last week I shared a few stories readers had sent in about how they reached out to needy individuals with Christian love and the Gospel. They were responding to Archie Watkins' story, published here the previous week, about a truck driver who gave his Bible to a homeless man who, as a result, became a preacher. Here's another such compelling story...In March of 2008 I was driving to work, late, and pulled into a McDonald's on the way to grab something for breakfast. I debated if I should take the time, but something just overpowered that decision and I pulled in to find the drive-thru [line] wound around the building. There were many parking spots available so I parked and decided to run in.
As I walked in the side entrance I was oblivious to my surroundings and just looked straight ahead to where the counter was. I placed my order, and very quickly walked back out the same way. As I approached the very last table on the left I noticed a man sitting there by himself and his eyes met mine. As I got closer he mumbled something to me. He was obviously homeless, dirty and tired.
I stopped, and not sure he was speaking to me I said, "excuse me," and he repeated himself, "could you spare some change for a cup of coffee"? I had to stop and think for a second, because for some reason it just caught me off guard. I snapped out of it and said, yes, that I would, and I started back to the counter to purchase it for him, because I had no cash, only a debit card. I stopped halfway back and turned to him and asked him if he was hungry. He shrugged his shoulders as if to say, "if you want to I would eat it."
So I purchased his coffee and food and took it back to him. When I approached his table he said to me, "I never thought in a million years that I would ever be beggin' for food." As I looked into his eyes I saw and angelic face. I felt like I was looking at the face of God. I bent over and said to him, "You and I are not that different. We are all just a paycheck away from needing help. We are all the same to God. Pray to Him." He looked at me and said, "I just did."
I walked out and emotions took me over. I felt as if I had just served my God myself and I could not stand how my heart felt like it was going to burst out of my chest."
I went back to work and I could not get him off my mind. The Holy Spirit led me back there at lunch time. He was still there. I asked him if I could get some food and sit down with him and talk. He said that would be great. I sat there for almost two hours and we shared our stories. He cried and said that no one had ever came back before and he could not believe it. I told him that the Holy Spirit brought me back and I witnessed to him and asked him to church on Sunday. He said he didn't have clothes to wear and I told him that did not matter me or to God. He agreed to go. I believed him. We made arrangements to meet on Sunday.
I went back to work still troubled by this guy and I called my daughter. I told her about him and she said, "come and get me and take me to him." I left work, drove home, picked up my then-20 year old daughter and went looking for Mike. He was not at McDonald's. We drove all over the surrounding area, because we were told where he hung out. We finally found him crossing a parking lot and I pulled over and rolled my window down. He looked in the car, noticed me, and with his witty humor said, "Are you stalking me, lady?" I asked him if my daughter could sit with him for the next two hours while I go back to work and talk with him. He agreed. I left them at Burger King and went back to work for two more hours. I called my daughter a couple of times and we agreed he could not stay out in the cold that night.
I have a husband and a 5 year old son at home. But I knew I was taking him home, and I had no fear! I called my husband and told him and he agreed to letting him come to our house for the night.
Mike came home with us. He showered and we gave him clothes to wear. The next day was Saturday and Mike wanted a haircut. My husband took him out on the deck and talked with him as he cut his hair. He led him to the Lord that day on our deck through tears of sincerity. Mike ended up staying with us for two more weeks. I introduced him to our church. They took him in as family and donated tons of clothing, food and rides as he worked on getting himself off the streets. He got a job. Had a place to live. Was attending church...
Mike ended up back out there, but this time he has God with him. He is God''s child now and God will take care of him. I see him from time to time and talk with him, too. Our church still prays for Mike...
Glenda D., Winston-Salem, NC
Again, the reason I'm sharing these stories is to reassure you that God can and does work through individuals just like you in reaching out to others in need. Our responsibility is to recognize those opportunities that God gives and to be ready and willing to take advantage of them to share the Gospel and God's love.
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