Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Homeless Doug

While on the way to church Saturday night I saw a homeless man. I had seen him earlier that day a couple of miles from there, but could not get to him. I asked Dennis to go back and he did an immediate U-turn. As I approached him I could see he was in distress. It was 95 degrees outside. I introduced myself to him, offered him a hat and found out his name was Doug. He had no teeth and was missing his right leg. He was in a grimy wheelchair. I have no idea when the last time was that he had been clean.

I told him that I wanted to talk to him and he seemed agreeable. I asked him some questions to try and determine the state of his soul. Doug told me he was a Christian. He said he knew the Lord and knew that when he died he would certainly be with the Lord. He told me that he wished it would be today. As we talked people drove past in their cars and some would shout rude insults at us both. He seemed hurt by each one and I told him not to worry about what people said. He told me that he was an alcoholic and he hated it. I asked him why he didn’t go to one of the many shelters in the area-thinking maybe he didn’t like hearing the Gospel. Doug told me that he had begged the shelters to take him but that he had MRSA and they wouldn’t let him in. This is a very contagious infection and I made a mental note not to touch him again. He said, “Yesterday I even wheeled myself out in front of a police officer but he wouldn’t even put me in the car. He gave me his card and told me he was sorry and there was no one he could call for me!” I am sure that officer’s heart was broken. I asked if he had any family. He told me that his Mom had died a couple years earlier and his wife had divorced him. I asked him where he would sleep tonite and he said, “That dumpster is looking pretty good right now.”

I noticed that the darker it got the more “night people” came out. When someone would walk by he became really scared. I kept telling him it was OK, which seemed to make him feel better- but it just made me feel worse. He said, “I have a death sentence now and I tell God every day that I didn’t do anything to deserve this!” He told me that he got MRSA while in the local hospital for an operation. We talked about John the Baptist and how Jesus told him, “Blessed are you who are not offended in me.” We talked about Job. He nodded his head. The whole time I stood with him I was talking to God asking him why He had wanted me to stop and talk to this man-I felt so helpless! I kept going back and forth in my mind with things like, I’ll take him home and put him in the spare room-no…he has MRSA, you can’t do that! It is like modern day leprosy!! I had some money in my pocket I intended to give him and before even offering it he said, “I don’t want money. I need help.” I couldn’t help thinking, here I am on my way to church…I’m supposed to be salt and light, and I can’t even help this man!! Black clouds were quickly forming overhead and I knew it was going to pour. I asked if there was anything I could do for him at all. He put his head in his hand and said, “Pray.” After we prayed I felt led to say, “Doug, God has put you in a place where absolutely no human being can help you. The only one you can call on is God Himself.” He looked straight at me and said, “That is from the Lord to me!” He told me that he knew that God had spoken to him. I told him that he should go under the eaves before the rain started but it came down in buckets. I ran for the truck and Doug wheeled slowly down the sidewalk. As I lay in my nice warm bed that night I could not help but think what it would be like to even sit in a chair outside in my driveway all night in the rain. We are so blessed of God, who provides for us in so many ways. Lord, please watch over Doug and so many others like him.

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