I’m a magnet

Posted on June 11, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Good. I thought the title would get your attention. Yes, I am a magnet. Not a chick magnet. I am married to the hottest chick in the world, see:

So, I already have that under control. No, I am a magnet for drunk and homeless people. Not sure why, but I am. Now, if you are the type of person who revels in the fact that you the perfect person, with the perfect family, who drives the perfect car, who goes to the perfect church, with the prettiest pews, who has the best relationship with God, who, when it comes down to it, would take or leave Grace cause it’s basically just a cool thing to have, you are probably not gonna like this post. I don’t write posts like these to intentionally piss people off, but just hear me out on this.

For some reason, God puts a lot of homeless and drunk people in my path. Perhaps he does that to us all and we simply ignore it. I don’t know. Regardless, I encounter a lot of them. Last night, as I was finishing my evening of delivering Pizzas, (Yes I deliver pizzas on the side) a man approached the store after we were closed asking if there were any more pizzas left. He was hungry. We told him that there were no more pizzas, and that we were sorry. The other people I was there with left, and then I tried to do the same. I drove off, all the while hearing the still small voice deep down inside that said “feed him.” What? I asked God. “Feed him” he said. So, I turned around in the parking lot, drove up to the gentleman, and rolled down the window. The next words that came out of my mouth were without question the dumbest words I could have said all night. “You still hungry?” I asked.. Well what the heck was he supposed to say? “Nope. Somewhere in the past 45 feet I was walking, and the good Lord dropped a big mac and fries in my stomach, so I’m good… Take it easy!!!” Yeah right. Dude was starving. “Brother, I’m bout starved ta death” he said. So I looked around, thought about what I was doing, and said “get in the car.” He then looked at me like I was some serial killer, and he said “no, son, I better not do that.” I realized that my demeanor might have been a bit off, so I gently reassured him that all I wanted to do what get him something to eat. “I can only get in if the Lord says it’s ok..” He said. I still don’t know what he meant by that. But I just looked at him and said “God told me it’s all good, so get in the car.” In he got, and off we drove. Now… Here is the part where my wife will kill me. First of all, she hasn’t even heard this story, because I forgot to tell her. (I do that a lot… Thank God she still puts up with me!) Second of all, she gave me some really good advice a while back: “If someone is hungry, don’t take them to get them fast food! Take them to the store, so you can spend less money, and feed them more food. Beyond that, it’s way healthier for them anyways..” So baby, as you read this, I must apologize because I didn’t take your advice. And as a disclaimer to everyone; not because I didn’t want to, but I just didn’t think about it. In the heat of the moment, and all I cared about was feeding this guy. Back to the story… So we drove up the road to McDonald’s and I bought him a value meal. He really appreciated it. He was blown away by the fact that I would buy him a meal. He told me that he hadn’t had a meal in three days… As we were driving down the road to the spot where he asked me to drop him off, he told me where he was at in life, and where he was heading. His name was Rick, and he was heading to Arkansas. I asked him how he was getting there, and he said “My thumb!” He asked what I did, and I told him that I did the music for a church. (I have a feeling that he would have looked at me like I was a complete idiot if I told him that I was a Creative Arts Pastor.) He thought that was pretty cool. He really liked music, and told me that he was a follower of Christ. “Great” I said. I was at a loss for words, because I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that that this man was very drunk, and if you’ve ever had a conversation with a drunk man, you know how hard that can be. So as we pulled into the Bi-lo parking lot in Waynesville, I stopped the car, and asked him him if I could pray for him before I left. He said sure, and then he held out hid dirty hand. I looked down at it, messy with dirt and what looked like a scab or two, and then back up at him. I didn’t know what to do, so I just held his hand and began to pray for him. Who knows how long it had been since Rick felt the physical touch of another human being. I prayed a very simple prayer, asking God to protect Rick in his travels, and when I was done, he looked like he was going to cry. I don’t think he knew quite what to think, and really, neither did I. One thing I do know, though. We were both blessed. Immensely… I drove off, and I still don’t know why, but I wanted to cry. I’m not sure how, but I know, even if in some very small way, God used that situation to impact both of us. I was reminded of how blessed I was. I was reminded that all of us have probably been one decision away from heading down the path that Rick was on.

So this is what I have to say about this: You have no idea how much this happens to me. I encounter these people all the time, and they are so badly in need of real human interaction, and even more, interaction with their Heavenly Father. The sad thing, is that they will never have either one of those unless we as the body of Christ can have the courage to MEET them where THEY are at. This comes full circle back to what I said at the beginning of the blog. If your life involves you living in the perfect “Christianese” world where we wear our Christian T-shirts, and hang out with our Christian Friends, and Listen to our Christian music, and go in our Christian Churches, sitting on our Christian seats, driving our Christian cars and never encountering the lost where they are, haven’t we fallen severely short of the Mark? Have we not given our lives to Christ only to get our fire insurance card, never daring to enter in to the world of a non-believer, or better yet, a believer who is hurting. We walk in a world full of hurting, jaded people. These people haven’t been hurt by God, but by the church.

Listen… if you know me, you know I have a long way to go in my faith. I’m certainly not the picture perfect Christian. But one thing God has challenged me to do is to get out of my box, and get into someone else’s world. I would challenge you to do the same. Don’t worry about your car seat getting dirty, or your reputation being put on the line because one of your friends saw you with an individual out of your social class. Reach out. That’s what our Jesus did for us. He entered our world.

I am reminded of something that I heard Andy Stanley say one time. “God, give me the wisdom to do what’s right, the courage to do what’s right, even when it’s hard.” If only we would all pray that. Yes, I think God would put amazing opportunities in our path. So as you read this, I hope you feel Challenged.

Have a great day, and don’t be shy. Let me know what you think.

Josh

P.S. If you want a real, uncensored view of what the world calls Christianese, you can view that definition here.

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4 Responses to “I’m a magnet”

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now how on earth could I ever get upset when I have such a wonderful husband?? 🙂 I love you and I’m proud of you. Whether you want it or not, here’s a pat on the back for you! 🙂

Dude – I love your heart for this, man. We’ll never reach the world by insulating ourselves from it.

By the way, I dropped by your wife’s blog… Sure hope you get the health problems straightened out. I’ll definitely be praying for your.

I’m just glad you stepped up an drove back to the guy! Sometimes I see someone who I think could use a hand, but I stop myself because I’m girl and it’s usually guys I see near the VA hospital. It sucks that something like personal safety could keep us from reaching out,but I know it’s stopped me. So you keep being a magnet for those of us who aren’t!!

That has to be one of the coolest stories that i have heard in a while. everyone knows I’m not one to outwardly express my feelings, but that would deserve a hug!!! Thank you so much for giving him the time. I think God is showing you where he is leading you. Those people keep being placed in your path for a reason. God knows that you are going to be real with them and not critize them for where they are in their journey. I just pray that these people, who are so broken from years of pain, will find God. And when they do, they will remember the one guy in a pizza delivery outfit, that said “i have the time for you, you are important to someone”, just as Jesus would have said. VERY COOL JOSH.


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