This past week, one of our food pantry team members was on site preparing for the upcoming week. They had an encounter with making a new friend that they wanted to share below. May we all be open to others- to share life, a cup of coffee, and Jesus.
A few months ago after I returned home from service at Eastbrook, I was sitting and watching another service on tv, and the minister (at the moment I don’t recall the name of the program or the pastor’s name) mentioned the concept of one hour, one drink, all Jesus.
That concept has stuck in my mind since that day. Well, today I was blessed to put the concept into practice.
I met a homeless young man today who happened to be sleeping in the recycle dumpster at the church as I was depositing some boxes. I had first seen him there during the winter. When I initially approached him back then, he refused to speak. He just grabbed his bag, climbed out of the dumpster, and walked away.
Flash forward to today. Same scenario, however a much different outcome.
As he was climbing out of the dumpster I asked him if he was hungry, and he said yes. So I brought him around to the pantry and gave him some food. I then asked him if he wanted a cup of coffee, and again he said yes, so I brought him over to the church kitchen and made some coffee. We sat and drank coffee and I began to share my story with him. I told him that there was no shame in being in downtrodden circumstances. I shared that I have been homeless; that I too have slept in dumpsters; that I have been hungry; that I have been in jail; that I have been ostracized; that my relatives for a time would not speak to me; that at times when I began to finally allow the Lord to straighten out my life, that when family members began to allow me back into their lives, they would still be slow to trust me and take time to rebuild the bridges to relationship.
Fast forward a few years. I told him that the person sitting with him today is still under construction. That Lord Jesus is still working in my life to make me into His image. I told him that I still struggle with sin every day. That I have to get up every morning and ask the Lord to work in and through me today because today is all that matters. I can’t change yesterday, and I can’t predict what may happen tomorrow or even if I will see tomorrow, so all I have is today.
We sat for one hour, had one drink of coffee, and talked all about Jesus and how He can change lives.
I share this with you to hopefully allow you to consider this concept. Just because you see someone homeless or in dire straits; dressed in shabby clothing; or not smelling so nice, isn’t a reason to look down your nose at them. And it doesn’t have to be an encounter with a homeless person. It may be your neighbor or even a friend or relative, or perhaps even another member of the church. When the Spirit moves you to stop and share your time to spend just one hour, have one drink (of coffee, tea, soda, or water), and just talk all about Jesus, give in to Him.
Just a note while I’m passing by: sometimes the Lord wants us to turn over the soil; sometimes He wants us to plant the seeds; sometimes He wants us to weed the garden, and sometimes He wants us to reap the harvest. But it is the Spirit’s work alone to do any convicting. We may never know how things are to turn out after we do the part the Spirit has chosen for us. Sometimes it may take several times for someone to plant seeds before they begin to grow. But do His bidding and see Him work.
I ask you all to lift this young man up in prayer. Allow the Spirit to guide you in prayer for him. And ask God who He is leading you to today to lean in and share an hour, a cup of coffee, and of course, Jesus.
God bless you all!