Jul 7, 2017

June 17, 2012: My Personal Journal Entry. Learning from the Poor in Spirit

Everlasting Father, today on my way to Walmart to return a pair of shorts, I noticed one of my homeless friends along the side of the road. Right away, I felt Your presence.  It was as though You were ready to help me say “goodbye” to the sweet old homeless man I had come to love.
He was holding on tight to his usual cardboard sign as the wind whipped around. His weathered face instantly lit up as I pulled my car to the side of the road. "I have to tell him that we are moving soon." I thought to myself as I flashed back to 2009 and relived that precious moment when we first met. It was the first time I had given out a Bible and shared the Gospel. How could I have known the same man would accept Jesus Christ and sit by my side in church for Sundays to come? Now, three years later, I was saying goodbye to the man we affectionately called, “Woody.”
As I slowly walked up to greet the sweet elderly man, I wondered how I’d ever be able to say goodbye. His presence had become a fundamental piece of my journey with You.  I’d often pass him while driving to and fro. Each time, my heart would feel convicted. The homeless man was dirty, stinky and on a hot day sweaty too. While I was fresh and clean. Woody sat on a yellow tattered fire hydrant for hours on end in the hot sun. While I sat comfortable in my air conditioned car. He trusted that You'd provide his daily bread, while I often stocked our pantry with food, just in case. He humbled himself daily as he held a sign, begging for money. While over the years, I watched You provide a steady stream of financial provision to our family.
I had come to love and appreciate his symbolic presence in my life. Each time I passed him on the street, I was reminded of Your Word, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?” His meek existence helped me to better understand the value You place on the poor. Not only that, but he treated me like I was his friend.
I’ll never forget the day I attempted to fill the tires on my car with air. I was doing it all wrong. That’s when Woody approached me. He must have seen my feeble attempt at car maintenance. I was instantly humbled when he reached into his backpack, took out a peach that someone had donated to him, handed the piece of fruit to me and said, “Let me show you how to use the air hose. Here have a peach.”

Now, words I didn’t want to say piled on the tip of my tongue. Tears streaming, I muttered, “It’s time for me to go Woody.” The man with the long white beard grabbed my arm and began to cry. “Why is God taking all of the good ones away?” “Oh Woody, you know that Jesus Christ is real and alive. Now, I need to tell others that He is with them too.”  The old man said, “Then, you should go sweetheart! But I will miss you!” We held hands and let the tears flow. After a few moments, we hugged one last time. I returned to my car, desperately trying to regain my composure.  For a moment, I wondered if I had done Your will. Then, suddenly a feeling deep in my heart grew strong and I knew that I had done what was precisely meant for today.
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