A "friend" whom I have never personally met, but have talked with for many years online, named Kari Haywood, came up with an idea for "Show Some Love Monday", which was targeted for today. She asked us to "show some love" to someone who needed it today. She left it up to us as to how we would do it. I purposed in my heart that I was going to find someone whom I did not know and take them to lunch. That was my goal when I left my house today. It was not as easy as I thought it would be, but the results were absolutely fulfilling.
As I was driving toward downtown to get a cup of coffee, I saw a couple of teenage boys who both are now out of school and trying to figure out exactly where they are going in this life. Ironically, while we all know each other, the relationship between myself and each of these young men has been... shall we say, "strained" at times. I mean, I like them, and I believe they like me... we just don't see eye to eye on things. (And that's OK, right?)
Anyway, these guys were walking down the street, in the opposite way that I was going, but I felt the urge to stop and give them a ride. I asked, and they were heading, literally, to the opposite end of town, a long walk. I was within eye sight of my destination, but I felt the Holy Spirit tell me to take them where they needed to go. I picked them up, and literally, within 3 blocks of picking them up, I had an elderly man turn a corner right in front of me, and slam on his breaks, stopping halfway through the intersection. As I swerved around his car and into the oncoming lane of traffic, dodging 2 other cars, I'm thinking, "that's what ya get for trying to show some love!" I rebuked that thought as coming from the enemy of my soul and made a joke of it and went on about my way. Funny thing, in the 6 minutes it took to drive across town, I felt some healing going on between myself and these two young guys.
After dropping them off, I drove back across town and started my search for someone to take to lunch. I guess I had not thought about it before, but you know, finding a complete stranger who is willing to let you buy them lunch is not all that easy. People not only thought, but asked me, "are you some kind of freak or something?" After about 40 minutes, I started thinking that this was not going to happen, so I went to Innkeepers Coffee and ordered lunch for myself. I was pretty disappointed, but hey, I did try.
After eating my lunch, I decided to treat myself to a piece of cake and a cup of coffee. After all, it is my birthday... so why not? lol By this time Innkeeper's had pretty well cleared out, except for a few people. A man came in with long gray hair with an equally gray beard that was long and scraggly. He was on a motorized scooter and was having a difficult time maneuvering around the tables. I asked him if I could help him by moving a table or something, and to my surprise, it half ticked him off. Again I'm thinking, "that's what you get when you try to show some love." I was able to talk with him for a few minutes and convinced him that I was not being condescending toward him with my willingness to help. He apologized for his 'tude and we chatted for about 15 minutes before I needed to get heading on.
I was still feeling pretty down about not finding someone to take to lunch as I started heading out to my church. On the way, I saw a man in a shabby and dirty green army jacket sitting by a vacant building. I drove on past, when I felt that tugging inside that this man needed some love. I turned my van around drove back to where he was. I went up and introduced myself to him, and handed him one of my business cards. I decided to try the direct approach and told him about "Show Some Love Monday" and what my goal was. He smiled at me and said, "you must be an angel." He told me how he had not eaten more than a bag of potato chips over the past 2 days and he was so hungry that he had sat down there contemplating robbing someone, either to get a few bucks, or better yet, to be arrested and have some place warm to sleep and food for a few days. I asked him what he wanted for lunch and he said more than anything, he wanted some Kentucky Fried Chicken. We were near one, so I had him jump in the van and drove him there. He stopped as we got out of the car and asked me if it would be too much to not go in. He said that people tended to stare at him because he was so dirty. I tried to persuade him, but relented and just went in and got his food and took him for a drive to the park where we sat and talked while he ate. I found out that he had left all that he knew some years back and had gone to Louisiana to work on oil rigs. He had lost his job due to drinking and drugs and for the last 9 years or so, he'd done odd jobs and traveled the land. He had now decided to go back home and see if any of his family would take him back. He was from the Chicago area. Through the course of our conversation, the opening came and I shared with him the message of Jesus, and my friend prayed with me and gave his heart to the Lord.
I offered to take him to the mission where he would have a place to stay and food to eat, and we were on our way there when he asked me if there would be any way that I would help him call his brother in Chicago. I was able to make contact, and to make a long story very short, his brother was thrilled to hear from him and wired the money here to put him on Amtrack, and tonight, this family is reunited.
Mission accomplished! Another soul saved and a family united! And it's all because a little lady out in Missouri thought it would be cool to show some love to someone who needed it on Valentine's day.
Thanks Kari Jay... you made my birthday spectacular!