The last few weeks I have been struggling with thoughts of did you pick the right person for the job Lord? I have been going to the park now for almost a year. When God called me to do this, He told me I was to go and be a friend and love on the broken, wounded and unloved people without homes. So, I go every week and do just that, I sit and talk, give a hug, let them know I care and tell them I love them. In the back of my mind I keep thinking there is more I should be doing. I keep thinking that if I could do this in the park or that down there, maybe I could reach more people. Each and every time I have these thoughts, God tells me that is not what I called you to do, all I asked you to do is love them. Well Lord, do my words have any meaning, do they have any impact, do they affect a life in anyway, and are you using me to make any kind of difference in this world? Lord do they see you and do they see the God that loves them when I speak to them? Then the Lord showed me what three little words, “I love you” can do.
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!