Blessed are You, O LORD! Teach me Your statutes!
~Psalm 119:12 NKJV
Recently, while I was at a local restaurant, I kept feeling a nudge in my spirit to go to a clothing store when I finished eating. As I arrived there, I recognized a homeless man named Mike. We struck up a conversation.
“I can’t give you money, but I’ll be glad to buy you a meal.” I pointed toward the restaurant.
“Can I get a hot dog? Or two?”
“Sure. Let’s get you two hot dogs. And ice cream too.”
“It’s too cold fer that.”
“I understand,” I said, but then I wondered if I really understood the bone-chilling cold Mike faced every winter.
As I stepped inside the restaurant, Mike hovered at the door.
As is often the case, a homeless person is used to being shamed so they will not enter a building.
Mike cautiously looked around.
The server was puzzled, “Back so soon?”
“My friend is hungry. Mike, tell the lady what you want.”
“I wants a hot dog.”
“Make that two please.”
Mike was modest with his order. To drink, he asked for a cup of water without ice. He didn’t order fries because he said he had chips in his backpack that were “not too old to eat.” The entire order cost less than five dollars.
I recognized this was God’s heavenly assignment. I prayed for guidance. We talked about Mike’s employment as a painter fifteen years prior. He couldn’t get disability.
“Perhaps you can do something…”
“That’s what they says.”
“I can’t climb ladders no more.”
“I care about you Mike, so tell it to me straight. Do you want help with that?”
By this time, Mike’s hot dogs had arrived but he stayed put.
“Lotsa days, it’s cold ‘specially when the winds a knockin’ at ye collar like it was last night. If I takes to the bottle, I don’t feel it as bad.”
“You can have a new beginning…”
“Is ye talkin’ bout Him? I likes Him, see?” Mike rolled up his sleeve to reveal a cross tattoo. “I walk past a church from where I sleep in the woods. I think ‘bouts goin’ in ta learn ‘bout ‘Him. But they won’t want the likes of me.” Mike glanced at his attire.
There it was again rearing its ugly head—a creature named, “Shame” had browbeaten this gentle man once too often. I was ready to act.
The same Spirit who had nudged me to drop by a store, was also prompting Mike to attend a certain church, and my guess was a preacher was preparing a sermon just for Mike. God was converging forces in an attempt to rescue a man who had wandered fifteen years.
“Mike, God loves you as much as the preacher. You are welcome there. So, this Sunday, even if you’ve been drinking, go inside.”
When you search for Me with all your heart … I will be found of you, says the LORD.
~Jeremiah 29:13b, 14a NKJV
I knew Mike would answer my next question as candidly as he answered the others.
“Will you go to that church this Sunday?”
“Can I pray with you?”
I felt the cold of Mike’s skin and the slenderness of his fingers clinging to mine, as if holding my hands tightly would make his world straighten. I hoped Mike would choose to hold as tightly to his Savior’s nail scarred hands.
What person is God nudging you to encourage? Will you do it?
Father God, fill me with love for those You send my way.
Hot Dogs and Holy Spirit Nudges is a true story.
Copyright © 2019: Hot Dogs & Holy Spirit Nudges: Author Diane Virginia Cunio; Pen Name Diane Virginia: All Rights Reserved: http://www.vinewords.net/hot-dogs-and-holy-spirit-nudges/3-min
Published: May 2019: Faith Beyond Fear: Founding Editor Alynda Long: Faith Beyond Fear: https://www.faithbeyondfear.com/2019/05/07/hot-dogs-and-holy-spirit-nudges/
Published: June 2019: Jewels This Side of Heaven: Stephanie Pavlantos: http://www.stephaniepavlantos.com
Published: February 2020: Presbycan Daily Devotional: Robin Ross, Submissions Editor: http://www.presbycan.ca
Meet Our Founder/Administrator
Diane Virginia (Cunio) is an award-winning writer, the founder and administrator of VineWords: Devotions and More, and the author of The Kiss of Peace: A Contemporary Exploration into Song of Solomon. She is working on the sequel, Behind the Veil: Becoming the Ascended Bride of Song of Solomon (both books awaiting publication).
Diane has developed the model for motion-activated musical prayer stations for use in the garden retreat, themed to the places the Bride travels to in Song of Solomon.
She is the co-editor and a contributing author to Love-Knots: Stories of Faith, Family, and Friendships. Soon to be available will be a children’s book series called, The Cowdoggie Adventure Series.
Diane is the Co-Host of Taste and See Conference with Co-Host Judy Taylor, Lumberton, NC. She is an ordained minister, holding credentials since 1995.
Find Diane’s Devotions/Articles at: Answers2Prayer (The Sermon Illustrator/The Nugget), Christian Broadcasting Network, Christian Devotions Ministries, Faith Beyond Fear, Pentecostal Publishing House, PresbyCan Daily Devotional, The Secret Place, VineWords, and other ministries and blogs.
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