“See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands. Always in my mind is a picture of Jerusalem’s walls in ruins.” Isaiah 49:16 (NLT)
Often walking down the busy highway, we would see this African-American 30ish young man, often carrying his clothing and possessions in a drawstring plastic bag on his back. His body mirrored the way he probably felt within–hunched over, dejected, ambling slowly, unkempt, and uncared for.
One particular weekend I had cleaned the rooms of our home and scrubbed the bathrooms until they shined. I made a chicken dinner and expected to enjoy a nice, quiet afternoon before heading back into a week filled with all its demands. Later, I got a call from Larry, still at our church. “I saw this homeless man again and I hope it’s okay with you to bring him home to share our Sunday meal.”
I agreed and so at the table, we chit-chatted amiably about various topics. At the end of the meal, I became agitated when I heard my husband say, “Michael, perhaps you’d like to take a bath before you leave. If you’d like another change of clothes, our son in college left some here that I think would fit you.” Hey, wait a minute, I thought. We fed him, wasn’t that enough? Now he’s going to take a shower in a clean bathroom and dress in our son’s clean clothes? Enough already. I soon repented of my ill thoughts as I saw dignity appear as he emerged a nice looking young man.
Michael heard that Larry worked on the other side of the island so asked if he could ride there with him that night. His desire was to find a new lodging place rather than in the culvert where he now lived under the highway. With a grace that accommodated, Larry did just as he requested. Michael chose a beach spot, hidden with foliage from the road, and laid out the sleeping bag and erected the tent Larry had given. This was his new dwelling place.
Little did we know the lessons we would learn of God’s loving, tender, care as He wrote Michael’s name on His own palm while sending human hands to assist. I hope to share more in my next blog.
Lord, I am so glad that you look within destroyed walls to see the sweet person as you build new walls of protection within and without your precious treasure.