This past Saturday our church was serving the homeless as we do every 2nd Saturday of the month. My job was working garbage and taking dishes from our clients and rinsing them in the soap water. Then the dishwasher would come over and pick up the plates to bring them back to the kitchen and wash them. The dishwasher was a volunteer who is also a homeless person, who revealed to me that he’d been living out of his car. I will call him “Carl”. Carl was a great guy – very funny, energetic and a VERY hard worker – like the energizer bunny. We had been talking about various things and joking around during most of the shift. He was acting and speaking like he was Mexican – joking that people call him a “wet-back”, but there’s no water around here! However, he later revealed to me that he is actually a Native American from one of the local reservations here. During the conversation, he said he was trying to “rile up” his people on the reservation to go protest the government, but all they want to do is sit around and drink alcohol. He said they’re lazy and not motivated.
Later during the shift, I said to him, “Carl, your people don’t need the government, they need Jesus!” He replied that his people have a different culture. I told him that this is not about culture this is about you’re going to die one day and you need Jesus because you’ll be standing before God. He brought up the problem of pain and suffering in this world. He talked about how he’s seen babies born with mangled limbs. How could there be a God it is all this bad stuff happening? I explained that it wasn’t always like this. In the beginning, there was no suffering, but then sin came into the world and along with it, suffering, death and disease. One day, when this is all over, there will be no more death, suffering or pain (Revelation 21:3-7). I also admonished him not to make excuses. I warned him that he’s going to die one day and he’s going to have to give account for his sins to a holy God. Carl commented that went he died (made a gesture like going to sleep), he would be good enough to go to heaven. I explained that God demands perfection and that he can’t make it be just “being a good person” or “doing good works”. I explained the gospel to him that Jesus died for his sins and that he needs to receive Jesus. He listened – he didn’t either affirm or deny. I told him that I would talk to him next month when I’m there.
Pray for “Carl” that he would contemplate his eternal destination and would receive Christ as his Lord and Savior!