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.
Blessed be thou, O LORD; teach me thy statutes!
Psalm 119:12 RSV
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 ye shall search for me with all your heart … I will be found of you.
Isaiah 29:13 KJV
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.
Father God, fill me with love for those You send my way.
Copyright © 2019: All rights reserved: Hot Dogs & Holy Spirit Nudges: VineWords: Author Diane Virginia Cunio; Pen Name, Diane Virginia: http://www.vinewords.net/hot-dogs-and-holy-spirit-nudges/3-min
Hot Dogs and Holy Spirit Nudges is a testimony based on real life events.
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 on Stephanie Pavlantos’ Blog: June 2019: http://www.stephaniepavlantos.com