The next stop we would make that Christmas Eve night would be a man sitting at a bus stop with a small blanket covering his face and the upper part of his body. His legs were bare with just a pair of tennis shoes on. We stopped to pray with him and give him a gift bag. As we approached the bench and began speaking to him he wouldn’t say a word, and he wouldn’t uncover his head. He just grunted. We told him we had the bag for him, and would like to pray for him if he would allow us to. He uncovered his head, and you could see that he was in a hospital gown. He had just been released from the hospital with nowhere to go. He lived on the streets. He was so cold and thirsty. We handed him a bottle of water and he guzzled it down so quickly and asked for another. He began to tell us his health issues and that he had just been released from the hospital. Tears began to flow down his face as we talked with him, and we prayed with him. We took blankets from the van, and began to wrap him in the blankets. My heart was so touched as I saw two of our women begin to take the blankets, and wrap them around his legs trying to protect them from the cold. They’re on their knees at each side serving this homeless man addicted to alcohol that was cold, and alone on Christmas Eve. He cried and was so thankful that someone would care enough to stop, and pray with him. We left extra water and food and said our goodbyes.
We look at these and wonder why they will not get help from their drug and alcohol problems. What are they holding on to in these cold, hard streets? Why do they choose drugs, alcohol and loneliness to reaching out and accepting help? Each one has their story. Each one started out with choices to make in life to better themselves, and their conditions, and chose the streets. It is so incomprehensible to me, but yet this is where they feel home is. They're trapped in the darkness and Satan uses their fears to keep them in a bondage that will destroy them.
So many times we will get back in that van with a silence of grief that is so thick you could put it on a plate and slice it. This was one of those nights.
Ministering on the streets changes you. This Christmas Eve we saw the hurting and loneliness of just a few, but there are so many in the world lost and alone. They may live in houses and even mansions, but they feel so alone without hope. Trapped by choices made by themselves and many times others.
If you are one of them I pray you will reach out and let someone enter into your world with the love of Christ. There is no problem too big, or any situation so out of hand, that He cannot move in, and bring back into order. He can unscramble scrabbled eggs. I have seen it in my own life, and witnessed it over and over again in others.
26 But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Extend a hand today to someone that just may reach back!