Paul is a homeless guy.
They had to take him at the hospital when he complained of having chest pains. He called our church and said he was scared. He was scared that if he died no one would ever know. I can’t relate to this crushing loneliness.
Paul has a Masters degree in Art.
We stopped by to check on Paul, listen to him and pray with him. Paul talked almost non-stop for almost an hour. His loneliness and neediness was evident. I was reminded of what my wife and I often teach in pre-marital counseling and marriage class, “listening equals loving”. So we just listened to Paul talk about everything from guitar playing, to art history, to Jamaicans that smoke lots of weed. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t awkward.
Does not the Biblical call of love teach us to do the “awkward” thing sometimes?
Luke 14:12-14 – He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. 13 But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”
Sounds pretty awkward to me, but don’t miss the blessing that comes as well.
Yeah, yeah, we need to have a careful conversation about what is the best way to minister to these types of people. I get that. That another post for another day. But may it not be an excuse for our lack of action and compassion in this area.
Call me a mystic if you want, but I could see Jesus in Paul. Remember, we worship a homeless guy (Mark Driscoll is good at reminding me of this). Did not Jesus say that we minister to HIM as we serve the poor, the outcast and oppressed (Matt 25)? I want more of Jesus in my life. Perhaps doing this type of thing more often is a way to get more of Him. I just wonder…
Paul did not have a heart attack, but he might have lung cancer. He is having a biopsy today. I told him to call and let us know the results. I hope he does.