I never quite know how to answer people when they ask me how the morning was. If asked about this morning I would say this; it was beautiful, and ugly. It was magical and incredibly sad. It was gut wrenching and exhilarating. It is what it looks like when light meets darkness.
Bob a ministry partner of mine, picked up Stew, a man we minister to at a halfway house on Saturdays. Stew's willingness to show up and serve in invaluable.
For the first time we visited a man living in a tent next to a cemetery. I don't know, sounds like something Jesus might do. A man we know named Dennis told us to visit him in his tent. He also told us about Drew, a man who lives near him in another tent. He said, that we might get some resistance from him as he is rather ornery. I like ornery! While Dennis was no where to be found we proceeded to Drew's tent next, not knowing what to expect. Simply put, we were welcomed with open arms and an open heart. He even grabbed hold of us and prayed. It was definitely an ordained meeting.
We then set out to another tent in the woods. Upon finding it we met William, a man who has lived there for several years. We brought out socks, underwear, food, coffee, and oh yeah, the simple but passionate love of Jesus. He was a bit out of touch with reality, but we know God is bigger than the cloudiness in people's minds, and that nothing is beyond him, not even mental illness.
After spending time before God in prayer, we visited with Bob, a man we saw strolling down the sidewalk in his wheelchair. Bob got his ankle shot off several months ago. We talked, laughed, listened to each other's struggles. Bob has many demons in his life, as he confessed to us, and at this point he is unwilling to deal with them. But he was willing to talk, listen, pray and share his pain. What we do never seems like enough to me. And I wrestle with that. But it is something. A ray of light in a pool of darkness.
Upon leaving we met Scott, a man at the train station. After buying McDonald's for him, we sat down and watched the kingdom come. Who knew, God uses fast food restaurants. Scott has been clean for two months. He wrestles every day with not crossing the line, with not caving in to the many voices on the streets that are vying for his attention. Enter Stew! A man we minister to on Saturday's, who ministers with us on Sunday. Stew can speak to his challenges as he has and still does wrestle with the same things. It turns out Scott is living right next to Stew in a Rehab facility. He is literally a stones throw away. Stew promised to reach out to Scott and regularly hold each other accountable. Sometimes it's a lot easier to hold on to Jesus, if someone's holding on to you.