I have been blessed in so many ways. There are so many people in my life who have no reason to be there except that God saw fit to pour upon me yet another blessing. Yes, I know how narcissistic that sounds, but I am unwilling to chalk all these wonderful people up to coincidence and I can only hope that I can be of some blessing in return.
One of these blessings I shall refer to as E. E is an incredible inspiration to our faith community. If the tiles on the roof of your church slide back and a bed is lowerd into the midst of the worship service and upon this bed is a paralytic, I can assure you that E will be hoisting at least one of the ropes. His heart is for the dirty, the worn, the thrown-away.
E came across a man — let’s call him L — who is familiar with people catching a glimpse of him and then quickly averting their gaze. E averted nothing. E engaged. E got to know L. He began bringing L to church. E lives accross the street from the church, but regularly drove to the other side of town to pick up L in front of the house where L lives in the shed behind, to give him a ride to church. One Sunday E brought L back to his house for a change of clothes. L was refusing to come along because his were dirty. With a fresh shirt L joined E that morning.
E is a Nuclear Physicist — seriously. He was finishing up some graduate work at the local university when we got to know him. With his graduate studies behind him, E took a job in Washington, DC in nonproliferation. E packed his belongings and set out for Washington several weeks ago. Before leaving, E made it a point to gather several of us together to talk with L and arrange transportation for him. We learned that my son and I have breakfast at the IHOP located just a half a block from L’s shed. I told L that my son and I would enjoy his company for breakfast anytime and to consider it my treat since it would be so nice to have someone else to talk to so I wouldn’t have to listen to my son talk about the Yankees all through breakfast.
Today was the third week in a row with no sign of L. Another couple also came by to give L a ride and even went knocking on the sheds in the neighborhood and calling out L’s name. No response. We have asked E for ideas on how to reconnect with L. We have prayed individually and as a community for L and for the opportunity to again serve him. I now ask you also to pray for L — for forgiveness if we spoke out of anything but love, for an opportunity to reconnect with L and for wisdom to meet L where he is and place no condition upon him to receive our love as a community. May L experience God through and among us.