Posted by: Kerry Spencer | September 22, 2008

Associating with the Lowly

We work in the day shelter from about 6:30-10:00 on Sunday mornings before going to church.  Today I spent much of that time in our storage closet.  Around 9:00, I was told to pick up the phone.  Over the phone I met a young woman who needed a favor.  She had met a homeless man and had convinced him to go to our church with her, but she wanted a man to ride with them.  She had called my director (who happened to be out of town) and he recommended she call and ask for Matt or I.  So basically I was in the right place at the right time. 

We picked up her homeless friend at a McDonalds and drove to church.  We got some coffee, worshiped a bit, and heard a wonderful sermon challenging the church to be a loving community.  The pastor challenged us to meet the needs of others, practice hospitality, and associate with the lowly (Romans 12:9-16) – a rather appropriate message, I thought.  So after the service, as folks began departing and mingling, I asked our new friend what he thought of the church/message.  He had me sit back down.  About an hour later, he had finished pouring out his heart and shedding many tears over the desperate state of his life.  I mostly listened but also had the opportunity to share the Gospel and a few more thoughts with him.  I also shed a few tears, because my new friend is broken and he knows it.  Some of his brokenness is self inflicted.  He admits that he has been punishing himself for a long time, only falling short of ending his life. 

But now he wants change.  Now he has friends who want to help him change.  Now he seems hopeful.  He appears to be the picture of a motto here at Jeff St.: “Hope changes everything.”  I’m so blessed to have been at the right place at the right time and to have been able to minister to my new friend.  He knows where I’m at, I know where he hangs out, he’s got my number, and he’s planning to join us for church again next week.  I pray that this is not the end of the story, but only the beginning.  I’d appreciate your prayers for my new friend as well.

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Responses

  1. That’s the kind of newsletter I was hoping to get from you. Such an experimental illustration of God’s grace in storage for his beloved servant and friend of mine.
    On the 27th I had my fifth aniversary with the Lord. In view of the unexcitment that characterized this event -unlike other anniversaries in the past and the way I planned this one to go- I wonder if by any chance God has a word for me through you? (Although your note about Complacent comfort really was a preliminar clue)


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