What if, what if, only what if…
I have been kicked out of all the Libraries. “What did you do,” I asked?
I fought with a guy and the security kicked me out. I’ve lost all access to all the libraries.
Hmmm, that’s not good you know? So how does that feel? I asked as if it wasn’t obvious. Not good. That’s the only place I have access to internet connection.
My discussion went back and forth like this with Brian. I met Brian 2 days ago at Bow Valley College in Calgary. I wasn’t surprised to see two people sitting on the corridor stairs that led to the exit to the train station. As I descended the stairs my eyes ran across Brian and his friend sitting almost helplessly on the stairways.
“Hello,” he said. (Has he been saying hello to everyone?)
How are you?, I asked.
He responded the typical, I’m fine.
Almost about taking the left turn that will keep him out of view, I don’t know what made me turn right back to him to continue the discussion.
What’s up with both of you?
Why are you sitting here? (It’s not unusual to see homeless people sit there).
That was when Brian told me he’d been kicked out from the libraries. He had a beef with a certain person and a fight ensued.
Well, I asked him if he’d died in the fight, where would he have gone to? Heaven or Hell? He said …uhm… heaven I hope.
We don’t hope our way into heaven you know?
We can’t wish our way there either. I replied.
Is the way you’re living your life the way God wants you to live?
“No,” he said. Without putting up any form of self-defense — unlike the conversations, I have on the streets.
You know that when we don’t forgive others, God will not forgive us our own sins (Matthew 6:15). Leaning forward as if to some serious discovery. In submission, Brian said, I know.
“I’m a Christian you know?” He said.
That’s interesting! I said. Are you born again?
Yes, he replied.
I gave my life to Christ about two years ago. And I know that what you’re saying is true.
I told him my story of a friend who’d offended me and how each time I remembered the hurt, I felt betrayed. Finally, one day in prayer, with lots of sobbing and crying, I expressed my hurt and feelings of betrayal to God. God consoled me. God helped me find the courage to confront this person and I was able to forgive her.
I encouraged Brian to talk to God about it, He will show him how to go about the hurt.
I watched as Brian held on to every word I said.
He said “I really believe God sent you to speak to me”
I said, yes, I believe so too.
He knows what we’re going through you know? And He knows just the right words to draw our attention.
“Thank you so much, I will never forget this”. “This means so much to me”. He said.
I used to read the Bible a lot he admitted, but not much lately. I encouraged him to get back to studying the word.
We wrapped up our discussions as we held hands and prayed!
Only God knows what our little discussion would go on to do for him.
On the train that day as I mulled over that episode, I wondered how many times we’ve scurried by people that needed a word of encouragement, a compliment, a hug or simply a smile. I wondered if we’ve eschewed really engaging with people due to our “busy” lifestyles. How many times have we missed the opportunity to share our stories that will help point people back on track? How many times have we dismissed people because of the clothes they were wearing, the places they hung out, the way they spoke and yes, the color of their skins?
How would we live our lives if we realized that we carried in us pieces of answers to people’s problems?
What if we deliberately decide to notice people’s pain?
What if we decide to wait long enough to hear their stories of why they’re sitting in the “forbidden” places of society?
What if we miss our “trains’’ just to hear someone pour out their frustrations?
What if we let our plans occasionally get interrupted by other people’s mistakes and bad choices?
Would it mean something to us that stopping for the one might pull them, a step closer to the father’s love?
Heidi Baker’s beautifully articulates this point with this quote
My thoughts this Morning.
God, please help us!