Posted by: Darrell Johnson | June 26, 2009


I just looked at my hand and it read “EMS?,” and right away I recalled something that took place today in the day shelter. One of our guests was experincing some cardiovascular problems and a call was made to EMS. While one of our HOPE team members were on the phone, I had asked via the query on my hand if he was talking to EMS. Indeed he was talking with them and within minutes an EMS team was on the scene with a strecher in our day shelter. It hurt me to see all of this happening, because it was only mere hours before when I was speaking with the man on the stretcher and his wife. They’ve only been in Louisville for two weeks and he just got a job as a dish washer in a local restaurant and now this. He was unable to feel his arms and his eyes were moving every which way. His wife, Jeff St. staff, and some of the other guests were keeping him company while we waited for his ride to the hospital and I couldn’t help but think about how disappointed he felt while this was going on. What an unfortunate way to start anew, in new city.

Since the Summer HOPE term began, we’ve been subject to many things and I can’t guarantee that today will be the last time we see a stretcher on the property. I pray that we won’t see another one. The new atmosphere of the day shelter and the happenings within these walls haven’t led to me to second guess where it is that the Lord has put me. In fact, the relationships I have made with the guests, residents, staff, and fellow HOPE team members have only affirmed my belief that this is where the good Lord wants me to be and for that I am so thankful.

There’s a song by Pete Townsend (of The Who) called “Let My Love Open the Door,” and the lyrics repeated in the song are “let my love open the door, let my love open the door, let my love open the door…to your heart.” Those lyrics are rather poignant, for they are synonomous with the way that Christ relates to us in our everyday lives. Unfortunately for some, they may have never taken the time to recognize the love of Jesus and how it can open up their hearts to a whole new life, a much better life. This isn’t a judgment call, instead this is only a motivator for me to be more proactive in building relationships and community here at Jeff St. and in our surrounding area. At times it’s a lot to take in, that I could be the only Jesus they see, but when followers of Christ invest in people and sharing the Gospel, we must look far beyond our own abilities (or even inabilities) and TRUST that the Lord will provide us with the words to say, ears to hear, and hearts to love. And I pray that it will be a love that opens the doors to many hearts, not for any glory on the behalf of man; but for the glory of the Lord. The stage is set before us everyday and we have the opportunity to help change lives. Whether it be by bold words of conviction or just a smile and “hello,” when our hearts are geared toward the Lord and His Gospel message people will notice and they may be curious as to why it is we are the way we are. It’s not by our own accord, but by the Holy Spirit prompting our hearts to serve a mighty God and share an everlasting love.

So that being said, I encourage you all to pray for Jeff St. Pray for the ministries that take place here and all that are affected by those ministries. Pray that the Holy Spirit will be over this place. Pray that we’ll all acknowledge, daily, the love of a Holy God (as well as the Holiness of a loving God).

Oh LORD, guide our hearts.

“An overflowing love which seeks nothing in return, is the love of God operating in the human heart. At this level, we love people not because we like them nor because they possess some type of divine human spark; we love all human beings because God loves them.”  —Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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