It was a night on the town with friends who struggle. With friends who desire to live for God. With friends who need Christ. With friends who are homeless. They are messy and bruised and in need of a redeemed walk in Christ, just like me. Oh, how I love them.
Cindy, Holly, and I moved to greet our friends who were coming outside after their meal at the Salvation Army. Thus the night was filled with special encounters and divinely led God-steps. Some were headed to the chapel for church, while others lingered with us.
They chatted about small things and shared their hearts with us, along with their friendship. We passed out new socks to anyone who wanted them, listening to stories, and being captivated by a new friend who once dealt with guns and gangs, and he told us how he made bad choices and sinned on purpose.
Now he’s on fire for God and he shared his new walk, and told us how selfish he used to be before surrendering to God. His story took us from Waldo, Arkansas to Seattle, Washington and back to Waldo, to his current stay at the shelter.
At one point, I noticed a dozen or so friends, who within seconds gathered in a circle. It’s as if the Lord brought each lonely heart to that exact spot, at the perfect moment, so we could pray. So I did what every crazy-in-love with God person does, I led us in prayer, after taking prayer requests.
The gentle breeze. The perfection of such a moment. The lowering sun in the sky. The time spent seeking the Lord. It all came together and we connected our hearts with the Lord, trusting Him for guidance and answers.
Then the hugs followed, and one lady whispered in my ear. “A blessing just happened. I needed to pray.”
Another man hugged me from my left, while one of my “less than quiet” friends hugged my head from behind like he was an octopus. His arms were doing the Heimlich on my neck, too. He laughed, “I love to pick on you, Ms. Pam.”
My friend Holly invited everyone she met to Church under the Bridge, too.
We then headed to another part of town, and met up with a young homeless man who was thrilled to see us. He told Cindy how his GED class is going great, how easy his studies are, and he was thankful for her prayers.
One tall lanky friend joined me on the steps by the library. He walked with me in the shadows, opening up to me. “I’m working right now, and I didn’t get paid today. But I’m glad.”
“Why are you glad? Don’t you want the money?”
“I do. But I don’t. If I’d gotten paid, I’m afraid I would have gotten some meth. But thankfully, with God’s help, I’ll have the strength to ‘not’ buy any when I do get my check.”
“Gosh, that makes me glad you didn’t get paid today. I pray you seek Christ and His glory, that you lean on Him.”
We talked some more and his words rolled from his lips. “Me, too. You know since I’m not high, I am able to see you and talk with you. If I’d been high, that wouldn’t have happened. I’m thankful for this walk.”
I touched his arm. “See, look how God works. I’m praying you trust Him.”
“I do want the strength God can give me. I do.”
We strolled in silence for a second or two, and he whispered, “Please pray I find myself and that I will love God.”
“I will. I promise.”
We chatted some more and hung out in the shadows, and the light was shining in his heart, and hope was building up like octopus arms to give him strength. And he couldn’t keep from smiling.
So if you’re still reading this, please pray for my friend. He would so appreciate it. As I would.
I love how my friend stepped into my day and felt comfortable in sharing his “evening” victory. It made my night shine like the moon, as my friend had a night of clarity. A night of seeking God.
And yes, I almost prayed his pay check might be delayed for a few more days!