Sunday, January 10, 2010

A tugging has been in my heart

It’s cold here in Oklahoma, as it has been in most places in the US. A few days ago the temperatures dropped to 16 and lower.

It is just plain cold outside.

When he walked in I knew. There was no question about it. That man is homeless. He stood tall in stature with a backpack hugging his back. I thought it must be a blessing to help keep the wind off his back.

I say that he was tall in stature but as he spoke to me half pleading he must have felt so small in standings.

He rubbed his hands together and blew a cold breath onto them. I wondered if he felt desperation. I wondered if he didn’t wish that his breath would somehow warm all of him.

He lowered his head as he spoke to me but looked at my face.

“No disrespect ma’am but it’s awful cold out there and” he looked to the door “I slept out in that last night.”

I must have looked shocked because what I said next just spilled out.

“Why didn’t you sleep in one of the missions like John 3:16?”

He looked back at me and replied “Missions were all full and as I was saying I mean no disrespect ma’am but I was wondering if I could just stand here to catch my breath.”

I replied “Yes you may.”

He stood to the side to warm up.

Where I work we aren’t allowed to let the homeless wander in the store. I couldn’t send him down for hot coffee. All that I could do was to allow him a warm place to stand for a moment. It’s not that I work for an uncaring company but I work in an area that has a lot of homeless people. Our customers don’t like being asked for money from those who don’t work. Most of the people that come into the store most likely donate to some form of charity so I know that they are caring people. I talk to them I know that one of my guys, who is always going to look to find me helps in a prison ministry and I have many other stories like his. But still we have to be responsible.

He thanked me and left before I was able to send someone for a cup of hot coffee for him.

This morning I was talking to my minister about the man and he said that he had spoken to other ministers about the same issue of overcrowded shelters and using our big empty church buildings for them. Some are open to it many aren’t.
The tugging of our hearts won’t end as long as people will huddle in the freezing temperatures.

Please pray for these men, women, and children

Matthew 25:34-38 (New International Version)

34"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?