Love Someone Enough to Knock His Beer Over!

February 1, 2017

I drove to the spot to take a sleeping bag to a homeless friend, and I also carried a new Bible. Now he stays in specific areas on Stateline Avenue, and normally he’s easy to locate.
I thought back to one visit with him not long ago, where he lay on the ground drunk, his head on the concrete. He was behind a store.
I had wandered up, not really, as I purposed to step toward him. Carrying a blanket, I put one under his head, a blanket made by a local student at a high school. It was high noon, and he was in a stupor.
When I stepped up, his beer can, a giant version of a super-size route-44 cup got to close to my shoe. I sort of scooted it, allowing the near full can to topple over, to spill out, to drain.
Now before this bumping of the can, my friend barely reacted to my presence, barely acknowledged my calling to him, and had raised his arm in a wave to say hi, but that was the most motion he’d made until that moment.
Because when I kicked his can over, and yes, I knew what I was doing, my friend tried to sit up, but in his state, he could only twitch in uncontrollable jerks. In the effort, his head rose, and flopped back to the ground, but now his head landed on the cushion of a blanket. He was not happy that I had spilled his beer.
I knelt, and he let me pray for him and so did the man next to him, who was sitting in a wheelchair. That man wept as soon as I asked if I could pray.
It was a glorious moment, for God’s presence was there, and I welled up with tears that fell like rain. An ache inside rose up in me, one that felt like time was spinning out of control, but Christ was at the same time in control. It was like a blanket of hope fell from heaven, a pillow of grace as I prayed for Jesus to block out our transgressions, for His own sake, and to remember our sins no more. To save us! To deliver us!
That memory lingered, as I drove up last night, as the sun lowered, and I didn’t see my friend. So I drove in four circles around the area, ready to find him, praying out loud on circle number four.
As I pulled into traffic on Stateline again, I inched into my lane, and coming across the highway was my friend, who promptly went inside the gas station. I parked, waited, and then sped right up to him as he stepped from the store. I scared him as I got kind of close, but his grin at knowing me said everything.
He would again get a prayer, and the sleeping bag. And a stern talking to about something specific that we chatted about.
I couldn’t help but notice, yet again, that he carried a sack with beer. Goodness, I couldn’t kick it over this time, but I could pray for Christ to redeem my friend from the cycle of steps that are keeping him trapped.
Mostly, I pray for his salvation in Christ, that His satisfaction would come in delighting in Jesus and glorifying Christ instead. That sin was spill out and drain off, that the beautiful person hiding inside behind the red eyes would be revealed through the work of Christ! A work that can come when Christ opens ears, gives sight, and calls!

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