God’s Stunning Grace
God’s Stunning Grace
I remember the days of old. I ponder all Your great works and think about what You have done.
The men shuffled through the serving line at the Cold Weather shelter, most of them barely looking up as we warmly greeted them and served them their dinner. Towards the end of the line, a white-haired man caught my eye. As he came through the line, he looked straight into my eyes and graciously thanked us for the food. I wondered how in the world this older man – who looked to be in his 70’s – would be homeless? I imagined how hard the cold streets must feel under his old bones.
While the men were eating their dessert, I sat down by this man and asked him to tell me his story. His name was Ronnie, he was 77 years old and had been homeless for 15 months. Have you ever felt God whispering to you and know you have to pay attention? At that moment I heard the Lord’s still, small voice in my heart say, “Be My hands and feet to My son.”
So I stepped out in faith and took the first step, not knowing how in the world I was going to “adopt” this homeless man, whom Jesus loved. But I called up a Jesus Army that came together to provide a Roof for Ronnie – a furnished apartment – plus clothing and rides to work and church. He’s gotten the medical and dental care that he was without for several years. Ronnie has been welcomed at LifePoint as a family member and attends most Sundays, getting a ride by members of “Ronnie’s team” and then usually going to lunch.
A few weeks ago, however, it was icy, and Ronnie stayed home. A friend came up to me with tears in her eyes. She said “Tricia, I have been watching Ronnie’s story unfold. He was a few rows in front of me a couple of weeks ago and I saw his hands lifted in worship. I felt compelled to slip out of my seat, go up to him and say “Ronnie, you are forgiven.” But I hesitated and the moment passed. I’ve resolved that the next time that I see him, I will do it. Because… I don’t know how much you know about his past….”
Father God, what a privilege it is to be the hands and feet of Jesus who came to seek and to save the lost. Help us every day, to remember the great works that You have done! Thank you for the miracle of redemption and rescue that You have given to all of us. Your grace is amazing.
She hesitated and I filled in the blanks. “Ronnie shares his story freely. I know he’s made many bad choices and has had a hard life. I am aware that he did prison time in the Federal Penitentiary for several robberies.”
She said, “That’s right. Because I was the teller at a bank that he robbed.”
I stood there stunned and we were both crying. How did God rescue this dear man and then place him in the same fellowship with someone that was a victim of one of his previous crimes? I was deeply reminded of the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15:11-32. We need to all remember what it means to be lost, how Heaven celebrates with joy when the lost are found and how our loving Father longs to save people.
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