Today I visited with several homeless people. I have been on the lookout for a couple named Carlos and Sunshine. In the process I met Joey. Joey is an amputee in a wheelchair. He has a colostomy; wears a urine bag; is very dirty and stinks.
The type of person you would imagine Jesus ministering to. Joey says he is drug and alcohol free as do all the homeless people I have met. As soon as one homeless person leaves everyone that is left tells me, “Don’t believe that person. They’re doing crack cocaine.” I’m so naive. I want to believe that they all tell the truth.
I visited with Joey and learned that he hasn’t had a clean colostomy or urine bag in quite a while. I think I could have deduced that on my own from the smell. I decided crack addict or not, someone needed to help this guy. I came up with at least ten excuses why it shouldn’t be me, but in my heart I knew I was that someone. I went off to the local medical supply store (literally gagging as I drove thinking about the stench); bought colostomy bags and a urine bag that straps to the leg. Next stop Salvation Army and then the grocery store. I arrived the hero (at least in my own mind. God soon humbled me.) with clean clothes, medical supplies, soap, water, toothbrush, toothpaste and nail clippers.
“Joey, here’s the stuff you need. (in my nicest tone) I brought you three gallons of water from the store so you can clean up. I think your urine bag is leaking.”
Joey – “I know man. Sometimes the wind blows just right and I catch a whiff of myself and it’s bad.”
“Just promise me you’ll clean up. I kept the receipts so that you can’t return this stuff to the store for money. Use it okay.”
Joey – “Oh man, I will. Hey Terrell.”
Joey – “I’m really hungry. Stay and have dinner with me over at the McDonalds.”
“Are you offering to buy or do you need me to.”
Joey – “Dude, I only have a couple of bucks. I was hoping you could get me something to eat. I’m really hungry.”
“Okay man, let me see what I can do.”
Ten minutes later, I’m back with a bag of ten tacos and suddenly I’m feeding four homeless men and hearing their stories (I’ll share about Pat later).
I finally have to go to meet my own family. I’m late for dinner and they’re (my family) eating without me. I pray with the guys; hand Joey a pocket gospel, and pull away in my $30,000 company car. The hot tears began to stream down my face.
Lord, I know you’re bigger than Joey’s needs. How can I show him You in all of your glory? All he wants is the next fix of crack and all I want is for him to know You can fix the “Crack.” The big one that he is trying to fill with drugs. The one only You can fill with You.
Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.