Published October 29, 2013

Shelia Shares....
"Encountering Angel"

As Paul and I neared the city square during a recent walk, a lone man stopped us. "Could you spare a dollar?"

Paul reached into his pocket and pulled out a Gospel of John, which included a dollar bill as a bookmark for John 3:16. He handed the man the Book, while showing him the dollar.

The man thanked us and then he began to talk. He lived on the streets. Winter was coming and he didn't know what he would do as it got cold.

We asked him about going to Water Street Rescue Mission. But he said he was banned from there. He had seen a woman being abused so he stepped in to help and got in trouble. He couldn't go back unless he went through an instructional class.

He started sharing his story. Some years ago, he had felt God calling him and wanted to go to church. But, some friends told him not to go and he listened to them instead of God.

A short time later, he ended up in prison. A preacher man did a Bible study with the inmates. One thing the preacher told them was, "God says that you could have avoided being here, but you didn't come to me when I called you." This homeless man felt like God was speaking directly to him.

Paul asked if he had a home church and he replied, "Bright Side Baptist," but confirmed that he had not been there for a long time. We suggested he get in touch with the church. Paul told him that God can speak to you personally, sometimes in a way totally unrelated to what the preacher is saying, if you sit still before God and listen. I told him that he needs to take that first step to get back to God. That first step is the most difficult, but it can start you on a journey to where you need to be.

His countenance became very pensive and he asked us to pray for him. I asked his name and he replied, "Angel."

Every person we meet has a story. They have a past – filled with good and bad. They will have a future, either here or somewhere in eternity. Also, they have a today. Today can be lived for God.

Perhaps you have a past that you want to forget. You can't eliminate the past, but you can receive forgiveness so the past doesn't dominate your life. Today is the present and is a gift from God. Ask for forgiveness. Take that first step away from sin. Live today in the peace that only God can give. Know that you have a future with Him.

Please say a prayer for Angel that today would be the day of forgiveness and salvation for him. I just said a prayer for everyone reading this. May today be your day of forgiveness and salvation.

- Shelia

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