A Friend from the Past

Yesterday, as I was walking to Balboa Park on my lunch break, I was talking to God and asking the Holy Spirit where to go, where to sit, where to walk, and then, I listened and followed His lead, and wouldn’t you know it…amazing things happened.

The first area I sat in was at a distance from my usual spot. Where I was sitting, no one was walking near, but I could see people walking along the street…so many people. My heart’s desire was to sit down with every single one of them, but there was only one “me” and a whole lot of people. I began to soak in the Son by reading my bible, exploring trees in the Scriptures, praying throughout; when, all of a sudden, I “knew” it was time to move, and where to move was across the way. 

As I looked in that direction, I saw a man, whom I’ve met before, get up and leave, so I thought, “Oh, I missed him,” but then, I “knew” it wasn’t him that I was to talk with, so I walked over, and as I neared the area, a man was sitting there, bent over, reading a book. He wore a button up shirt, looked very clean, yet in the distance (within eye-shot), I saw a homeless person’s “luggage.” The two things didn’t match. Gently, I sat next to him and waited for a moment to speak.

I softly asked, “What are you reading?” He seemed happy that I asked, closed his book, and began to talk about what was in it: corruption in Hollywood, caused by a man living in New York. When he spoke, I heard a southern drawl. He reminded me of a character in a book I once read. This man was much older, distinguished…hair was in place, clothes and hands were clean, yet he was homeless. I have never encountered a homeless person who took such great care of himself. It was such a joy to talk with him. We talked about everything.

When I talked about Jesus and what He meant to me, he lit up. It was so interesting to meet him. He’s been homeless for over two years, came to Balboa Park one year ago. After I prayed over him, he said it was funny that I mentioned “dreams” in the prayer. It meant something to him, and he began to talk about a dream he had twenty years ago. It had been a vision that came to life eighteen years later. It was so neat to get to know him.

In chatting, I shared with him parts of my testimony, my sobriety and showed him my worship flags. He thought they were beautiful. He said he liked my smile because my eyes smile, as well. We sat together for at least twenty minutes. It was one of the greatest experiences. I hope to see him again.

As I walked back to work, I was reminded about how I used to just sit in my car on my lunch breaks and read. How selfish was that! Now, even when I’m invited to lunch with people from work, I think, “But what about the park?” It’s then that I realize EVERYone is important. I love becoming love. Living that way is so fulfilling…so right…so inviting. I pray that everyone wants to live today.

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