Just A Nobody
Monday, August 25, 2008
I have been wanting to blog about Sunday, but every time I start my mind is drawn back to my friend Terrica. I have known Terrica since about February and the more I know her the more I am blessed and honored to call her friend. Terrica has expressed a desire to come down to the park and see what I do there. I told her I go hand out things, but most of all I see my friends, accept them right were they are and most of all love on them. Until you experience it and see them the way God sees them, most people do not understand. This Sunday, Terrica called and said she was on her way to my house to ride down to the park with me. I instantly got nervous. She has such a heart and love for the broken and hurting. I knew that she would treat my friends with love and respect, but I was more worried about her reaction. If you are not use to hanging out with those without homes, it can be overwhelming and to be honest a shock.
We arrived at the park and were greeted almost immediately by about five or six people. My son James was with us and he knows what to expect. We started to unload things and in the process I was trying to introduce Terrica to whom I could. Terrica was standing along side of me watching and after talking with one guy, I turned and she was gone. I panicked for a minute, I expected to turn and see her running thru the park looking for the nearest exit home. Okay she didn’t jump ship, she’s behind me. So, off thru the park we went. I introduced her around and everyone was very excepting of her, I was grateful that all were very comfortable around her.
Terrica ended up sitting at a table with three gentlemen and spent most the time with them. I would sit down with them from time to time, just to see what was going on. I was amazed at how fast they let her in and even opened up to her. What a conversation they were having, it was awesome. When we got ready to leave, I looked at these gentlemen and their faces said it all. She has no idea how much she blessed these wonderful men today I thought. She sat with them, she engaged with them, she looked them in the eyes and said I see you and most of all she showed that she cared about them and that someone loved them. When they lay their heads down to sleep, what they remember will not be what they ate for lunch that day, but who touch their heart.
When we got back in the truck to leave, I have to admit I was a little perplexed. You see Terrica is a talker and I mean that in the best way. I love to listen to her; she is full of wisdom and knowledge. As we sat in the truck, she was just sitting there staring straight ahead and I asked, so what do you think? Wow, is all she said. I then asked if she was all right and the only response I got was, Yeah!
We got back to my place and Terrica went home and I was still trying to figure out her reaction. I have talked to her and she is still trying to understand what God has shown her. But, I do realize that God removed some blinders that day. He let her see thru His eyes. She got to see the beauty and worth in these wonderful people. She got to see thru His eyes the love he has for them. She got to see the relationship that God wants to have with each and everyone of us. She got to see thru His eyes what unconditional love is. God awoke and reveled something in her that day and I can’t wait to see where it takes her. I want to thank you for coming down Terrica, you were such a blessing to my friends and I know they will remember the kindness and love you showed them for a very long time. One look thru His eyes and your whole world is turned upside down. My turn to say “WOW”!
Checkout Terrica's blog on her myspace:
Monday, August 11, 2008
You ever wake up and you just get that feeling that something is different about this day? You feel God all around you and the winds are shifting? He’s the conductor, we are the instruments and He already knew what parts we were to play. Sunday was one of those days.
I woke up early Sunday; I was still thinking about the service I attended the night before, the awesome word that was spoken and how it spoke words of hope into my life. I ran my son to work and then rushed home to get ready for church, but God said no, this morning I want you to spend time with me alone. So, we both sat on the couch and just had some quality time talking (something I had not done in awhile and should do more often).
A few hours later Sean called. I met Sean in the park, when he was living at the shelter; he now has his own place, but still goes to the park every so often. He had asked if I could pick him up on the way to the park, sure I always like company. Then my son called for a ride home, he never gets off early on Sunday’s. As I was headed home I asked him if he wanted to go to the park (he doesn’t go down very often) “Yeah sounds good” he said. Shocked me! So, we packed up the truck, picked Sean up and headed for the park.
When we got to the park all of us were shocked. I pulled up and before any of us could get out of the truck, someone yelled the sandwich lady is here and we had a mass of people coming at us. Moose got to me first, he always asks were my son is and today was no different; he didn’t see James in the truck. I told him he was here and Moose got the biggest smile, I don’t know what it is, but he is always thrilled to see him. By this time we had this large group of people there and we were handing things out as fast as we could. The part of the whole thing that blew me away was, they were not just there to get a sandwich or something to drink, but most of them before they took anything wanted a hug and some would ask, “Do you remember me”? As everyone went back to their place in park, my son turned and asked, “What the heck just happened, they have never done that before”? I told him that they just wanted to be acknowledged, to know that someone sees them and that someone cares enough to listen. They wanted to be loved on.
Shortly after Chris showed up, I had not seen him in months and had always wondered what happened to him. He told me how he is doing and that he had some decisions to make and came down to the park to talk to me about it. I said fine, but why me, I can’t make decisions for you? “No, but you can pray with me and for me about them” he said. “Of course I will,” I told him and that’s what we did. Lord what did you do in this man’s heart, I stood there wondering. Not to long after words Pastor Dave had shown up and asked for me to introduce him to some of the people. Just as I was going to do so, Shilo came up (I have spoken about her before), I had not seen her and her mom in about a month and had been concerned about them. They had been staying along the river and that could be dangerous for women. I was so happy to see her and would catch up with her later.
I introduced Pastor Dave around to a few of the people there and he ended up sitting at a table with Sean and few others. Stacey was there; I met her the week before. Last week she asked if I would be back and I had said I would, so it was great to see her again. We talked and joked around and then I went to talk to some of the others in the park. I caught up with Shilo and her mom and had the most amazing conversation with her. I don’t know what it was about this day, but something was happening, her mom just opened up to me, hugged me and just poured her heart out. Before I left her, she told me were they were staying along the river and I promised her that I would make it down sometime this week and sit and talk to her. I went back to the table to see how Dave was doing and he was ministering to Sean. Sean has been going thru a ruff patch and I think he needed to hear something’s from someone other than me. So, I talked to Stacey while I sat there. As I was sitting there I looked over at my truck and thought were did my kid go? Yes, I know he is twenty-four years old, but I still worry about him, so deal with it. He always hangs around the truck until I leave, but here he was walking around the park talking to people and handing out water. Lord what did you do to change his heart?
As the day was winding down, I walked with Pastor Dave back to his car and we talked on the way. He had mentioned that there were a lot of hurting people down here. Yes, Dave there are and they just want someone to come down and share like you did today, they want to know that you care. He also mentioned that he only got to speak to one person that day. You may have spoken to only one today, but one thing I have learned in the park, word travels fast and there are more than one ear listening, weather you know it or not. I would find out today how true that was.
Stacey had asked my for my phone number Sunday. Well she called this afternoon. I answered the phone and she said I need someone to talk too. She broke probation and is facing going to jail tomorrow and was scared and wanted someone to talk too. So, we talked awhile and then out of the blue she said “I can I ask you something about what was going on at the table”? She asked what religion I was; I told her I was a Christian. She said your not like the rest of them, your different. I asked how am I different? Well, you, your son and that guy at the table (Pastor Dave) you guys came down and just gave of yourselves. You guys care about us and really seem to be interested in what we have to say and what we are going thru. I can say and tell you anything and you don’t judge me. I told her it wasn’t my place to judge her and we were there to just love on people. Then it got quite, I asked if she was still there and in a very meek voice she says, “I love you”. You could tell by her voice that she was almost scared to say it, that my reaction maybe a negative one. I very calmly told her “I love you too”. She then told me, “I have not had a friend in a long time and even though we only met a week ago could she consider me friend”. Of course, I told her. Then she told me that we touched her heart and I asked how so, she replied “Because you cared, you gave of yourselves and I have not had people do that in a long time” “You showed me that I matter to someone.”
So on that beautiful Sunday, with the gentle breeze blowing, I had to wonder, was that you Lord sweeping across the park. Was that you that was changing and opening up hearts? Was that you showing them that they were loved and had worth? I would have to say, “Yes”. He was the conductor and he placed each instrument in its place so the sound of his heartbeat could be heard. Love to you All!
Monday, August 4, 2008
Sunday was a fairly slow day in the park. It’s the first of the month and usually there are not many people in the park. I was sitting at a picnic table with a few people talking and had gotten up to get a drink of water. About this time, Marlboro (I have spoken about him in other blogs) came walking by in a rush. His face was fire red with anger and his fist were clenched. As he approach I asked what is wrong? “I’m going to go to jail, because I am going to kill him,” he said. I grabbed him by his shirt and made him stop. Probably not the wisest thing to do, reach out and grab someone who is pissed off and on a mission to hurt someone, but I needed to stop him from doing something he would regret later. I stood between him and the man he had is anger focused on. I stood there holding on to him, I kept telling him “you look at me and listen to me.” He explained why he was after this man and I told him I understood. I kept trying to reason with him as to why this was not a good idea, but he did not want to hear it. In my mind I was thinking, “please Lord help, I don’t know how to reach him.” God very clearly spoke to me and said, “tell him you love him.” Okay Lord very clearly you did not understand, I need help with words as to how to reason with this man before he goes and does something stupid. Once again, I hear “tell him you love him.” Lord are you flipping nuts, did you not hear what I said? So, I stood there, held Marlboro’s face and made him look me straight in the eyes. Tears weld up in my eyes and I thought I don’t know what good this is going to do but here is goes. I told him that I loved him, truly honestly loved him and I cared about what happens to him and I asked him not to do what he is about to do because, I did not want someone I love so much to get hurt. Marlboro stood there staring at me, the redness drained from his face, he unclenched his fists and tears welled up in his eyes. He just stood there and stared at me for a few minutes and then just said, “your right, it’s not worth it and I won’t do it because you asked me too.” Just then a couple had walked up to talk to me and Marlboro went to get something to eat. I spoke to him a few times briefly before he left, but when he did leave he had a smile on his face. What happened and what did God do in Marlboro’s heart when those words were spoken, I don’t know, I may never know, but I do know that three little words made a difference that day.
I woke this morning thinking about Marlboro and what had happened with him the following day. I had lunch with a friend, spoke with her about what happened, but in my mind I was still wondering, are words enough? I came home from lunch and was sitting at the computer and the phone rang. It was one of the guys from the park. He is now in his own place and getting on his feet. He asked if I had a minute. I told him sure and asked what is up? He had told me that he received a sum of money from a settlement and was all excited, this meant he was able to pay off all his fines and would be able to now get transportation. I told him how happy I was for him. He had been trying so hard to get on his feet and the last few months’ things just started to fall into place for him. Then he shocked me. He told me that he wanted to give back to me. Give back to me for what, I asked? He said I want to do something for you, because of what you did for me. I told him I helped and did things for him because I cared about him, not because I wanted something in return. He said you don’t understand and I need to be honest with you and tell you what I thought about you when you first started coming to the park. He proceeded to tell me that he hated people. He explained to me how people had hurt him badly, especially women. He told me that he thought I was nuts and stupid for coming to the park, talking and telling people you cared about them. He said “I use to give you so much crap, but you kept coming back” “No matter how much crap I gave you, you still told me I love you.” Then he floored me, he said that when I first started going to the park that he was at the end of his rope and was at a point were he did care anymore and wanted out of life. He said I watched you and I would listen to you and how you said you loved me and it wasn’t for what I could do for you. It took me awhile to see it, but I found that you were sincere in you acts, he said. He said by the way you treated me and loved on me and told me you loved me, you showed me that there are people out there who really care and that I can be someone and no matter how I may screw up, you still love me. So, now I am in a position to do something for you and I want to help. I told him if he really wanted to do that, then to help by giving back to the people in the park. He said he would and then asked if when he is able to come, can he come help in the park on Sunday’s. I told him I would love to have him come to the park; let people know that things and life can change for them. Once again, how did God use three little words to change a life? I don’t know, but He did.
So, why am I telling you these two stories? Well, like I said in the beginning, I was questioning God as to weather I was doing what he really called me to do. You see other churches and ministries doing and putting on these big and wonderful events and then there is me, I hand out my sandwiches, a hug and say, “I love you.” Are three little words enough? Are three little words spoken through you enough for God to change a life? I started to think not, until He revealed to me the last two days how a sandwich and an “I love you” can truly make a difference in someone’s life. So, I will continue to go down each week with my bag of sandwiches and love on my friends without homes. I may never see all that God is doing in the lives of my friends, but He has shown me that He is at work and the power of three simple words. So, if God can use a nobody like me to reveal himself to someone, whom are you revealing Him to in your life? The power of a smile, a hug or a simple “I love you” can make all the difference in a life you cross paths with today. I love you all!