I had not realized until someone pointed out yesterday that God almost always has me spend holidays with lonely people out on the streets. It seems that this might be His plan for me this upcoming Easter too.
In thinking of Easter (and of NYC), I remember about 8or 9 years ago when early one Easter morning and walking the streets of Manhattan I met a homeless man. This man was clearly very sick. He told me that he was in the end stages of AIDS.
His story was quite sad. This man had caught his wife cheating on him many years before this, and this sent him into such a spiritual and emotional tailspin that he went out and had sex with a prostitute who HE KNEW had AIDS. He was, in a sense, committing suicide.
Now, I don’t remember this fellow’s name, I think it might have been Jim, so I’ll call him that here.
Anyway, Jim and I sat on the street that morning and we talked and we prayed for hours. It was very cold, so we eventually went to a McDonald’s where we could warm up. I remember so vividly us sitting in that restaurant that day having “Easter” supper together. The power and the presence of God was strong there, so much so that I thought that the Lord might heal Jim that day. The Spirit brought a different witness that morning though. The Spirit’s witness was that the worst was over for Jim, that God was going to take him across the veil into the spirit realm soon and that he should be at peace, simply resting now in the arms of Christ.
As I shared this with Jim he looked at me with tears in his eyes. He told me then that he had never encountered Christ like this before, and that this “meeting” had brought him great peace, that he was ready to go whenever God wanted to take him. Jim gave me a big hug then. We both wept as we hugged.
I remember thinking to myself back then when all of this was going on, of how God was giving Jim and I a really profound Easter lesson. Death was surely in the air there at McD’s, but that was being SWALLOWED UP BY RESURRECTION LIFE!
Anyway … Jim, may God bless you greatly wherever you are! We’ll be dining again, man! … of that, I am sure.
That Easter was surely a “holy-day” for Jim and I. I look forward to more of those.