"And by His stripes we are healed."
Some time ago attempting to pull out from the parking lot of a Cypress street McDonalds, I was detained by a rather curious looking hunched over older gentleman pushing a shopping cart.
Visually using Redding's growing negative stereotypical eye one would find this man utterly and completely beyond hope to the extreme, and at first glance I admit I would have to join you.
Noticeable first about his old tan weather beaten face was the look of humility. Then looking up, smiling and for a lack of better words his eyes gave of a brief, intense flash of light....
We engaged in brief pleasantries and although it became apparent the age old drink that has driven many to the streets obviously played a role here the few coins offered to this man spiritually would be payed back immensely. In fact I looked for him several times after that encounter to no avail, until across town attending a seminar I found him again, or should I say he found me.
He told me the story of how he went through town , knocking on back doors of church offices asking for help... Only to be told the police are coming. Was this a test for Church bodies that dwell in the heart of downtown Redding ?
Now the church I speak is the Seventh Day Adventist on Eureka way and although I don't agree with their doctrine Henry had been knocking on Church doors from McDonalds on Cypress all through town and this was the last one left. I certainly was overwhelmed with their love for this man I had now come to know as Henry.
Perhaps they saw the twinkle flash of light in his eye as well...
For two days they let this poor homeless man stay on their church porch until a family there took him in for personal hygiene and fresh new clothes.
Then Henry was taken to the Good News Rescue Mission and for the first time I knew of the Director waived the 30 day in 30 day out rule for Henry.
Perhaps he saw the twinkle flash of light in his eye as well...
The men in the program at the time went above and beyond what they were required to do helping with Henry's bathing and grooming needs, even trimming toe nails better left undescribed.
Well with the Grace of God Henry quit drinking ! He even had his own ministry putting Bible tracts around town! Many at the mission half jokingly would say Henry was an angel.
Perhaps homeless saw the twinkle flash of light in his eye as well...
Henry loved his soda pop and never wanted for funds. He could simply stand in front of the mission and a Corvette would pull over giving him a 100 dollar bill ! Mind you, he never had a sign, and it got so bad they would not let Henry stand out in front any longer....
There is hope for what looks stunningly irretrievable. Our Father through Jesus Christ let me watch His healing compassionate hand over this man step by step, and it to this day humbles me to the core.
We truly walk by faith and not by sight.... nobody is beyond help.