I’m usually a bit reluctant to share testimonies, but because of some encouragement from a brother, and a nudge from what seems to be the Holy Spirit, I’m going share a little more about a man who I was led to meet with last night. I was told by the Holy Spirit to go to a downtown theater cafe and just wait. Five minutes or so into the waiting, along came James. This is about last night’s exchange with him.
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When James told me that he was homeless, I asked him, “If you don’t mind, James, will you tell me why, tell me how it is that you (someone who looks not to be 30 years old yet) have wound up homeless?”
“I’m schizophrenic,” he said.
I said, “You’re not schizophrenic! Oh, the doctors might tell you that you are, and they may pump you full of Haldol because they don’t know what else to do for your problem, but you’re definitely NOT schizophrenic! Your problem is spiritual, man, and there is a root cause to it all, something which needs to be dealt with. Do you know what that root is, James?”
“No” he said.
“Done a lot of powerful drugs?”
“No,” he said.
“Bitter at someone? Not willing to forgive them?”
“My stepfather. He molested me when I was five years old.”
“Still pretty mad at him, huh?”
“I WANT TO KILL HIM!”
“Well, there ya have it.”
“The root cause to your problems, the door which has opened you up to all sorts of spiritual darkness. I understand your hurt, man, and understand why you feel as you do, but you have to forgive this man who has hurt you, James. He’s a victim too, ya know, a victim of a beastly nature that has ruled over him, something that he has not the power to get free from but in Christ. Let’s pray for him now, OK, and for your heart to be healed, and for you to find the grace that you need to forgive him, OK?”
“OK,” he said.
As we prayed, I noticed that James was tearing up a bit. God was moving upon his heart. After praying James said to me, “I forgive him, David.” He then commenced to tell me about how this traumatic experience as a young child led him later in life into a homosexual lifestyle, something that he has now repented of but something that he still feels guilty over.
“You’re forgiven too, James. Can you receive that?”
“Yes, I think I can.”
“Great. Don’t look back, brother. Let go of the past. Learn to live in the now, OK?”
James nodded at me, with a sort of puppy-dog look on his face.
“Can a recite some poetry for you? I need to get a few bucks together to try and get off the street tonight. I’ve got a pretty bad cough, I and could use a warm shower and a bed.”
“Pretty bad cough” was an understatement. James seemed like he might be on the brink of pneumonia. He had been sleeping in a parking garage for a while, in some pretty cold and wet New York February weather. I didn’t need to hear the poetry (though I was open to hear it). I handed James almost all that I had in my wallet. “Go get a room James and get down to business with God. Talk to Him about all that we talked about here, OK?” James looked shocked by the amount of money that I gave to him.
“Ya know what that is, the money?” I said
“Amazing grace, James. Amazing grace.”
James was weeping now, and reached out to give me a hug. As he was hugging me he said, ” I can’t believe that I told you all this stuff, David. A PERFECT STRANGER! I have never told anyone about any of this, not even my mother.” I just smiled. We hugged again. We shook hands, then blessed one another and said goodbye. I knew that we had gotten to the root of the biggest of James’ problems as led perfectly by the Lord. This was a day (a night, really) of salvation for James. Lots to be worked out yet for him though. That is why I asked for prayer for him this morning.
I sure hope that some of y’all pray.