Day 4 is amazing…but we will get to that.

Something is changing in me.  I am starting to see people.  Not notice them, but see them.

My heart is changing as I look for a way to give.  I am suddenly looking for people where I would not have looked before.  I have found myself stopping for broken cars on the highway.  I think I stopped 3 different times for cars along the highway.  In the past, I would have driven by thinking they had it all taken care of or that it would be more dangerous if I stopped.  None of the cars needed anything I could offer, but that is clearly not the point.

I stopped and talked with people waiting for the bus, teenagers walking to the store, and fast-food workers taking smoke breaks.  It was different today than yesterday.  It was no longer for me, but I realized that every person is potentially the one God may be trying to reach through me, and my job is to simply be available for him to use.

I think God is opening my eyes to where He is.  God is constantly pulling people out of the darkness and into the light.  But where is this darkness?  If God is in the business of healing and restoring, then that means he is seeking out the ones that are hurting and broken.  So everyday my God is searching out the ones that are hurting the most in the world, seeking the ones that are the most broken, the ones that fail every minute of every day, the most repulsive.

He is chasing them.  Daily he leaves the 99 to find the one.

I want to go with him.  He has given us the opportunity to be his hands and feet right here in this world.  Do I love the drug addict who is too high to eat?  Would I give my life for the alcoholic who does not work and drinks 16 hours a day?

Jesus did.  And he would again.

So on my way home last night, I saw a woman walking down Dickerson Road (kind of a shady area).  I stopped just to ask if she was ok.  She shot me a sideways smile, opened my door and got in.  I had no idea what was going on, but I thought I should just see where God takes this.  I introduced myself and she told me her name was Xena (turns out that is not her real name, but I love that she wants to be a Princess Warrior).  I asked again if she was ok, and if she needed anything.  She told me that she only needed $25 for the night’s rent, so if we could just do whatever we had to so she could go.

I looked at her and told her that she was not going to have to do anything with me, that God had asked me to stop and talk to her, and that I would give her the money for her rent.  Then something happened that I never expected.  She started crying, no weeping.  Weeping in the way that you don’t see very often.  After about 5 minutes she stopped crying and said that she did not want to do this tonight.  She so desperately did not want this life anymore but she did not know what else to do.  She said she walked out of her house hating herself for what she was going to do.  She would have given anything to have another option.

I called my wife and we picked her up and then we all drove around for the next hour and talked.  She told us of how she has been in and out of jail, how her kids were adopted and she did not know them, and how she had been to rehab once where she had accepted Jesus as savior.  “I guess he didn’t abandon me”, she said.  “Tonight proves that.  I have hope again.”

Before we dropped her off, Brit invited her to our church.  She said she would love that.  She is beautiful and hurting and broken.  She is His daughter.  You will have to read tomorrow’s blog to see if she went with us.

The $25 was nothing, that is not the hope she spoke of.  The gift I offer is nothing.  But she has hope because Jesus decided that he wanted her back.  He decided that he would find her and give her hope.  He decided long ago when he died on a cross and decides still today that he will chase her wherever she goes, no matter how deep, muddy or dark.