|Yup. Those are indeed sexy Frenchmen playing soccer. Oh la la.|
We partied on State Street, Laid out on the beach, ate good food, shared lots of laughs.
But that is not what stood out to me.
It was a person.
A encounter. A moment in time.
Our day started at the Farmers Market. A mix of locals and tourists, enjoying the beautiful scenery. Everyone is friendly to one another, polite and friendly. But something is off.
You see them on every corner. But no one pays attention to them. The homeless. No one acknowledges them or even offers a passing glance.
It was obvious that some of these people were drunk or on drugs.
But then I saw her.
Her face was warm and kind. But the lines in her face told of a life that was met with trouble. She held a simple sign: 'Anything Helps'
Another homeless person trying to take advantage of my sympathies?
I looked at her and at my turkey sandwich clutched in my hand. And I heard a gentle voice..
'Go to her.'
I have never heard God's voice so apparent. Usually in this type of situation, I would wrestle with God.
'I'm not ready!'
'What do I say?'
'I am not equipped...why me?!'
I would try to justify my cowardliness.
But none of that happened and before I could even think I found myself offering my sandwich and sitting in the middle of a busy street talking to her.
We talked for a good five minutes. But in those 5 minutes, I learned so much.
Her name was Dina and she had been on the street for a couple of months. She has been laid off and had no family. I asked her if she had been staying in the shelter but she told me that the shelters were full of drug addicts and alcoholics and that she was trying to be clean. Overcrowding was another issue. I was enticed with her story but I was whisked away. I just offered her a quick goodbye and told her that I was going to pray for her.
Could she be lying to me? I don't know. But the tone in her voice was honest and full of brokenness. As I sat there talking to her about her life, I could see the pain and the hurt in her eyes. Maybe i am too nice or naive, but I think that something like that cannot be faked.
All through the day, Dina ran through my mind. I regretted not praying for her. So many 'if only's' raced through my head.
Later that night. I saw Dina again.
Immediately I ran to her and took her hand and prayed for her and told her how much she was loved by Christ. The look in her eyes said it all. Something sparked inside her, I could see it.
Seriously. What the frick. God moves in crazy ways. Months ago, I would not have the courage to share the gospel with anyone. Let alone a complete a stranger.
On the way back I began thinking about the homeless and what is like to live through each day thinking it may be your last. Living to just survive. Hopeless. What is it like to live everyday with that mindset?
Now imagine living like this and not knowing the gospel. Death must be a terrifying thought. Dying with no one, no home, and no hope.
Once again, God is turning my worldview upside down, slowly revealing things to me in his timing. I am thankful for this opportunity to grow in Him..