I went to the soup kitchen today to preach the chapel service. It’s a ministry I love but recently have not been able to attend to like I want. Different things have simply kept me away for the past few Saturdays.
I preached on sin and salvation from Romans chapter 5. It was a room full of people, volunteers and patrons, and I encouraged them in the hope we have in Jesus, and the consequences that are certain if we do not turn to Him. One brother requested prayer to stay away from cigarettes; he was recently released from the hospital. He had a vent in his throat he had to close with his thumb in order to talk. He was thankful God had spared him but he needs healing and ongoing help. We prayed and believed.
I took the opportunity to walk in the neighborhood. I wanted to find a spot where we can plan to have an outdoor service. I prayed as I walked and saw a couple of suitable spots, writing down a phone number from a for-sale sign at one of them so I could seek permission to use it. As I returned to my car after about 30 minutes, I heard a screech of tires from the direction I had just come. I drove back through that street and there was a police officer talking to a couple of ladies. I have no idea what happened- I just know that minutes before I had been in that very spot and that God had protected me and perhaps these 2 ladies from something.
I had seen several people as I walked, smiled and raised my hand to wave at a few. But I did not have any words to say, no great prompting to speak or reach or pray. But as I drove home, I passed by a house where a man was sitting on a porch in a wheelchair. He threw up his hand and waved as I passed. I waved back, but something about the way he had waved made me think he was trying to get my attention. I turned around and went back, pulling into his driveway. I stepped out and asked if he needed help. He said he didn’t, he just enjoyed sitting on his porch and waving at passersby. We talked for a few minutes. I noted his Vietnam veterans cap with the wings of an Airborne soldier pinned to it. When I mentioned it, he talked about going to college before voluntarily joining up for service in the 82nd Airborne Division. I saw the purple heart pin as well but decided not to mention that. He gave me a card with his name and phone numbers on it. It had his Vietnam Veterans of America chapter on the back. He said he was glad I stopped by.
He is in a wheelchair because of a rare disorder that is killing his nerves. It has caused neuropathy in his legs. Though he can walk some, he has to hug the walls of his home to get around. He has good days and bad days, he said, but the Lord keeps giving him one more morning to get out of bed. I offered to pray with hi affirming that through faith in Jesus, He can work miracles. I prayed in faith for his healing, his quality of life, and his faith in the Lord. And I truly believe the next time I visit him, he will be better.
I thank God for His calling, and for days like this.