A couple of weeks ago, we here in Mesa had a day off – or so we thought. After meeting for dinner with our friend Ashley Montage from ASU, we went to ASU Newman center’s basement where we had Theology Underground. After it was over, Ashley dropped us off at our 12 passenger van (I know we ride in style). We started to pull out of the the parking lot and I turned to Nick and said, “What is that guy doing?” We were sitting at a red light waiting to turn. Next to the intersection was a man hunched over on a fire hydrant swaying back and forth. I just shrugged my shoulders and then the light turned green. As we started to drive off, in that very moment, we saw the man hit the ground. We immediately turned around, Nick jumped out of the van to help him and Carrie and I went to park the van. I have to admit I was pretty sketched out by what going on – you really don’t know what your going to encounter when approach different people.
I saw Nick squat down to talk to this man. I slowly walked up to him and extended my hand to greet him and see what I could do to help. When I was walking up to him he started freaking out saying he knew me. Keep in mind I had never seen this guy before. Apparently the person that he thought I was he didn’t like too much. While he was shaking my hand he began to cuss me out. There we were trying to help this guy and he verbally threatened me. I quickly told him he wasn’t going to do anything of the sort to me. This man was really drunk and throwing up pure liquid – he probably hadn’t eaten
lately. We asked him for his name, he wouldn’t give it to us. We offered him water and he continued to throw it up. Nick cleaned him up with Kleenex. All of this was happening on a busy intersection in a pretty nice part of town. Everyone else either drove by or just stare at us. I remember that in my mind I just kept saying to myself, “Your being Jesus to this man right now.” After we continued talking to him, we asked him if he had anywhere to stay or to call. He said he has been on his own ever since his friend Kevin left. We asked where he went and if we could call him. Then he said Kevin is gone to be with Jesus in heaven. He looked like he was crying and dry heaving at the same time.
We were distraught in what to do. The Lord has obviously called us to be with this guy tonight. If we left him now he could fall into the street and get hit by a car. Nick made the executive decision for Carrie to call the police. We stayed with him till the cop was there. The cop asked him If he had any where to stay. The man said “1306” which was the address of the
parking lot complex we were at. The cop told us we were free to go that we have helped him as much as we could.
I was honestly really torn up inside about what happened. I was debating with myself if there was another way to solve his dilemma. At least he would have a place to stay that night, right? After talking to Nick about it later, he told me he saw Jesus in that man. I thought we were being Christ to him!
“He will answer them, ‘Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.” MT25:45
Father, you call us to love as you loved. We tried to help this man the best we could. Please Lord Jesus, be with him tonight wherever he is. Be with our Beloved. -JDH
The event that happened reminded me of this song by a group called Gunger. Here are the lyrics:
All this pain / I wonder if I’ll ever find my way / I wonder if my life could really change at all /All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found / Could a garden come up from this ground at all
You make beautiful things / You make beautiful things out of the dust / You make beautiful things /You make beautiful things out of us
All around / Hope is springing up from this old ground / Out of chaos life is being found in You
You make me new, You are making me new