In the beginning of Luke it talks about how Luke was a physician and a historian. He did not walk with Jesus, but he spent a lot of time interviewing and hanging out with the people who did. Today I had a meeting at the church that made it so that Keith went down to first street without me and I was supposed to meet him. Good intention but…. I walked home and realized that I didn’t have keys to the house so I couldn’t get in. I decided to walk up to Wray’s and go grocery shopping since I couldn’t do anything about it. I had God’s peace that said, “Well I guess I am not supposed to be there today.”
After I got home I sat on the front steps and waited. Before I knew it the suburban pulled around the corner pulling the little trailer. My face lit up and I started waving like crazy because I couldn’t wait to hear how things went. So….. like Luke… I can now give an account of what happened from a 2nd hand perspective. (It is a blessing to be a reporter of God sightings!!! )
And yes… He really showed up!! (As if He wouldn’t. You would think that by this time I wouldn’t be so amazed… but I continue to be.)
Keith said that when they pulled up on North First St. there were a handful of people waiting for them. Within minutes 20+ people were gathered around waiting for things to get going. Keith thought that between 75 and 100 people wandered through in the two hours that they were there. He said that it was really peaceful out there today. There were a lot of people, but he said that so many needs were met… hunger, blankets, clothes…. He said it was so neat to watch. All throughout the day- people would come up and ask for a certain size or particular need and he would think we didn’t have it, turn around and check, and find the exact size or specific need…. He said it was so evident that God was there…..
Keith and I have come to see that if we get a lot of something donated throughout the week- then there will probably be a lot of people specifically needing that item on Sunday. This week it was XL t-shirts and size 34-36 pants. Today was also different because of the 75-100 people, there were only about 20 who were our regulars… the rest were new people. They came with new fresh needs as well as new fresh brokenness…… At one point it was “awkwardly” quiet. People were milling around but it was strangely silent. I asked Keith why he thought that was and he wasn’t sure….. I think it might have had to do with the fact that a lot of the people were new, broken, non-trusting, and trying to figure out what we were all about. I think a lot of our regulars have learned through time to trust us and so they hang out and visit. - When Kasey (One of the committed teen volunteers that is on fire for the Lord) said that there were a lot of new people who seemed really broken… my heart seemed to crack a little bit… I want so badly for them to be set free with the LOVE OF JESUS!
I love what Keith told Kasey… he said, “We are the vessels of God’s word to go out to the world”.
The AWESOME thing is that God’s word is getting to them… we are seeing the fruits of that. David (the David I have spoken of earlier) stayed both last week and this week to the very end. He stood around and waited 2 hours- not really visiting with anyone, just watching….And then at the end….he came right up to the circle of volunteers to join with them in prayer. ……. He was actively seeking the presence of the Lord!!! This is a miracle to me… David is the first person that I met out on 1st street that seemed possessed to me…He was twitching and his face was contorted. His eyes were bloodshot red from the drugs he had done…. He didn’t smile or speak…. Today at the end, David came up on his own, joined hands with the group as we prayed, and then he looked at Keith and said, “Thank You” in his drawn out speech that sounds almost like he has had a stroke. Wow God… You are so so amazing!!!
Chris… the young gal that I have also spoken of on many occasions…. Came up today at the end. She was hunched over and kind of limping. When she looked up, Chris had fingernail claw like marks down the side of her face from her forehead, down her cheeks, and also her neck. Her ear was bleeding and she had a large bug bite on her back that made it so she couldn’t stand up straight. She lifted the back of her shirt up to show us… she had a nasty infection. Kasey approached her and asked her how her week has been. She said the week was fine up until this morning. Kasey asked if she could pray for her and Chris agreed. This was a first. She is a tough independent gal who has never received prayer before. Chris cried today…Jesus is softening her heart. I just pray that she does not get any more seriously hurt. Dear Jesus- Please protect Chris and help her to find your loving, healing truth!
A guy who looked about 18 yrs. old drove up and dropped off a bunch of bags of clothes. He handed them to Keith, turned around, and left. When Keith looked inside, he couldn’t believe it. There were brand new shoes, boxers, and shampoo. We don’t know who it was or where he came from, but we were so thankful that he did. God supplies our needs in the most unpredictable ways! Needless to say… all of the things he donated…. Were gone within no time! Only God knows the needs, and only God provides what is needed to fill them. Thank You God!!!
One more interesting story….. An old man walked up pushing a shopping cart that was an engineering masterpiece…. He was in his 50’s ….. pushing a shopping cart that had been jacked up on bicycle wheels. It was filled with pop cans and an array of other possessions obsessively organized to perfection. This gentleman was not in a very good mood but he wanted to check out what was going on. Someone asked if he would like a sandwich and he just about bit their head off because- he doesn’t eat bread- “that stuff is bad for you”. Someone else offered him water and he yelled- “There is stuff in the water…. I don’t drink that stuff”. The things that were offered to him were good nutritious things that would benefit him but he thought we were crazy to try and get him to take it. He yelled at our people and then took off with his cart…..What is ironic is that earlier he had been spotted dumpster diving around the corner. We can look at him and see that something is not quite right with him because who would reject food and water when he had so little? Isn’t this how some people feel about God??? We know that God is good for them and would benefit them, but some people react to us like we are offering them poison….. They fight off the idea and run the other way feeling insulted and untrusting. Hmmmmm…. Just like you can’t force food onto someone that doesn’t want it…. You can’t force Jesus onto someone that isn’t ready for it…. I guess they both need to be a little hungrier.
Thank you Lord for letting me experience You through 2nd hand stories that I treasure because they reflect Your Glory!! I can’t wait for next week to see what you are up to…. You truly amaze me, encourage me, and draw me in…week after week!