Sunday, June 13, 2010
Mobil or Shell?
As soon as I got out to pump gas, I was approached by a man who by all appearances was homeless. The first thing he did was apologize for talking to me and then proceeded to ask me for a quarter. I told him I didn't have any cash on me, but that I would buy him something inside the store if he needed anything. I told him I'd be right with him once I got my gas pumping. Once I got my gas pumping, I walked over to him and he was sitting on the curb. He said, "whatever you want to get is fine," and I said, "nope, you're coming in with me, let's go." So we walked into the store and I made sure he got two sandwiches and two drinks not just for today, but for tomorrow. He kept saying "you saved my life man, you saved my life, I haven't eaten for two days, you saved my life." I told him, "Jesus said, it's more blessed to give than to receive, and I didn't save your life, God did."
After paying for the food and walking outside I asked him if he knew where he would spend eternity if he were to die tonight. He said, "I hope heaven." I shared with him that we have all transgressed God's law, and that Jesus Christ died in our place so that God could dismiss our death sentence on Judgment Day. If we repent (turn) from our sin and trust in Jesus Christ alone for salvation, then God will grant us everlasting life and we will go to heaven when we die. I gave him a gospel tract to read and he said he would hold onto it forever and that he'd never forget me. As he continued to say "you saved my life" I reminded him that God saved his life and that God loves him more than he could ever imagine. He then said, "tell God I'm sorry for all the things I've done." I told him to tell God himself, he loves you, and and will forgive you if you confess your sin to Him (1 John 1:9). I told him, there's no sin so big God can't forgive you for it.
He then told me that he was from Cleveland, that his wife left him because of his drinking problems, and that he had lost his house. He would do anything to get back there if he could. My mind wondered what this man must have looked like a year or two ago, where he used to work, what he used to wear, the car he used to drive, and the house he used to sleep in everyday. But here he was, in old torn clothes, with dirty and cut up hands, unshaven, shoes failing and with weeds and bushes hanging off of his clothes. I so wanted to help this man more, but I didn't know what to do. So I gave him my personal contact card which has my email address and website on it. I told him, if he ever got to a computer or someone let him use their phone for email, to email me and that I would love to do whatever I could to help him out.
And so, we parted our ways. He walked up the street, turned and looked back, and waved to us as we pulled away. His name is Jerry. God knows him, God loves him, and I pray God watches over him wherever he is at tonight. He's got two sandwiches a Gatorade, and a water....He also has a gospel tract. Please say a prayer for Jerry as often as you remember.