THE WAY OF LOVE - TAUGHT BY A HOMELESS MAN

“Kindness is a language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” – Mark Twain

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I put my purple vest on, embroidered with “Jesus is Lord” and stepped onto the street to minister to the homeless. The unclean smells and dirty concrete was all I saw, at first. Rubbish crowded the sidewalk and smoke crowded the air. It was a place of desperation, reeking of hopelessness, and stale ambition. Then, in between the withering trees, I saw people. Men and women carrying sacks, their entire belongings. Their faces were enough – death had robbed them of life and purpose and promise, and the only thing dragging them forward was a drug. What a terrible place to be, so eager for rescue but so unknowing of their escape, their salvation. Homeless and hopeless – these were the sorrowful words tattooed on that part of town.

I came towards a man, who was holding a paper cup of coffee, which I observed as the only neat part of his rumpled appearance. He was leaning against a brick wall, reading a day old paper, pretending to be fine. We both knew he was not, so I stepped into depths of discomfort, and made simple conversation. The offer of a church service with a free meal afterwards did not lift him away from the curb, and as he shakily walked away to get more coffee, I wondered at how enticing a little white building would be in a world where you’ve only known sadness. I wonder.

The next man I walked towards agreed for prayer, as his leather jacket did not suggest. With half of my hand but all of my heart, I did my best to encourage him, which was, at that point, smiling a Jesus smile while my friend prophesied kind words over him. He soon drifted away, uncertainty following him down the street, and I again wondered at where he was going and why he would not come back, to the only church on the street.

Something burst inside me, and tears began to streak my bare face. It was too much, to see pain consuming God’s beloved, like a disease that has no right to spoil such pure creation. I was overwhelmed and desperate to change it but unable to express the Good News in any other way than a soft smile. A lengthy handshake, a gentle wave. I hurriedly wiped my tears away, to join my friends and a homeless man they were already ministering to. Right then they asked if they could pray for him, and it was his response that slightly ripped my heart apart.

This man had been through hell. Left alone, abandoned, a reject. He had seen death brush by him, and seen it breath upon others. No hope, no rest, no love. He was covered in clouds of smoke and given not the fresh air he needed to breathe. Sorrow, sadness, and suffering. He lived in fear and fake comfort that would disappear repeatedly and unannounced. A broken family, a crippling community, and no knowledge of a love that never ends.  

And yet when they asked to pray for him, he replied: “Nah, I think you should pray for the girl over there. She’s cryin, ya know. Can’t help but notice it, you gotta help the people that are cryin.”

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There was something about his reply that made me weep for hours afterwards, and I think it was this: His love is not given to us by how ‘deserving’ we feel // it is a free gift // and all we have to do is say yes.
 

Madison Hornblow
 

Out of Africa

Growing up on the mission field in Africa, I had a rich childhood. But it was also one that produced some intense injuries. As a white kid among all my black friends, I struggled with feelings of not belonging. Further, I lived with the fear of being sent to boarding school. This opened the door to some demonic spirits that invaded my life. I lived with this for too many years. However, during the leader’s school, the Lord brought me back to my childhood and began to remind me about these events that I had completely forgotten. Then he began to deliver me from the demons, fear and lack of belonging that I had lived with. And suddenly my spirit was freer, my body felt lighter and my mind had a surprising transformation to its thinking processes. It was stunning and so amazing. God is good."

 

(Steve Long)

(picture - https://pixabay.com/en/photos/?hp=&image_type=&cat=&min_width=&min_height=&q=africa&order=latest)

Issues? What Issues?

Most people come to the School of Ministry knowing they need some sort of healing in their lives. They come wanting to deal with certain issues. Me, I was different - I actually applied to do the School of Ministry in Toronto in order to change the world. I felt I was in a great place with God and didn’t think I had any issues or needed any healing. Was I ever wrong!

 

By the second week of the school, I was at the front everyday weeping because of all the deep hidden hurts that starting surfacing. I hadn’t even realized how much false responsibility and need for perfection I was carrying. Father heart week at the School was life transforming as I felt God take me back to who He had created me to be: His little girl. All the pressure of performing, all the false responsibility, all the need to be perfect was falling off me like scales.

 

The school took me on a journey. It was a journey of understanding the capacity of my perfect Father which then enabled me to understand my purpose and identity. There is something powerful about taking time away from the busyness of life and devote it to this understanding. It is an investment for which I will forever be reaping the harvest.

(Miruna Veehuis)

 

Dedicated Destiny

Dedicated Destiny

Growing up in India, I never liked school. Studying, learning and writing exams were boring. Despite this, I made it through my teenage years and life was good. I married the love of my life (Marina), was given two sons (Sheldon and Joshua) and then moved to Canada for a better life.  But everything I had been through in my years in India haunted me. I grew up in the performance-oriented settings of home and school, So there was not much love, joy and peace in my life.

Critics: Friends or Foes?

Critics: Friends or Foes?

Have you ever been criticised? YIKES! Just the thought of that question brings a flood of memories. My philosophy: every time I am criticised, I take a quick look at myself- my heart and my life- to see if some (or all) of it is true. With the parts that are true, I determine to face, admit and own them. With the rest, whether big or small, I shake it off and let it go.

Created to Dream

Created to Dream

Dreams can be confusing as they most often speak in the language of symbolism and that can be one strange language! It can put us off before we even begin, but really this is where the fun begins. It’s like playing a game of ‘hide and seek’ with God. He is inviting us to go on a journey with him, deeper into his heart, so that he can reveal mysteries and hidden things.

Butts

Butts

...how many people have sat on my couches over the years? Hundreds? Thousands? It’s hard to tell, but it is a lot. And the evidence is imprinted on the leather. Cracked them. Expanded their seams. The sunlight and friction, fears and tears have faded them now. Wrinkle lines pattern their skin, like old men brown and creased from the years.