Tonight I went to Husky's, the restaurant nearest to our church, to celebrate the baptism of a student. As I was leaving, I met a man in the parking lot. His name is Tony. I met Tony because he was asking me for some financial help to get his car fixed. I talked with him and we got a bit of cash to help get his car serviced. As we talked God showed up.
Tony began to tell me about his tough time over the past two years since finishing his prison sentence. He shared with me how people would tell him that he should go and be productive in society but he is finding that society doesn't want to take a risk on him. It is as if society no longer sees Tony as a person who needs help, it sees him just as a liability. Interestingly enough, in the midst of that tough setting, God showed up. God always picks the best times to come on the scene. Tonight, He chose to show up in Tony's desperation. This man who is just trying to make ends meet didn't see much hope for the ends getting together any time soon. As I looked into this desperate man's eyes, I saw God.
Tony needed hope for the future and since I didn't have a job in my back pocket, we sought hope together. We prayed. We asked God to provide and encourage. And when the amen was said I met a man who was broken and in need. You may think I am talking about Tony but I am not. I am talking about me. I once read that a man who was helping an ex-con said to him, " The only difference between you and me is that I didn't get caught." You see, like the man I just quoted, I was realizing I am no different than Tony. Tony was in need tonight and his neediness helped me to recall how frequently I am in need. This recollection was highlighted as I got back into my car that was just fixed today because God provided for me the payment I could not afford to pay for on my own. (Again, God knows how to show up.) I realized that, though the world doesn't see it, I am no less broken or in need of God's provision and encouragement than Tony.
Thank-you Lord for showing up and reminding me of my brokenness and my neediness. It keeps me grounded. May the abundance your grace cover Tony in all his areas of need. In the name of Jesus. My heart says, "Yes!" (Translation: ...name of Jesus, Amen)
Note to the reader:
By the way, If you know of anyone willing to give Tony a chance just respond to this blog. Thanks. Being transformed daily.