TO MEET SUCH A MAN
received the following
in an email from Lori Greenawalt.
I thought it might be inspirational
for anyone who takes the time to read it.
I hope that you find encouragement within
these words to help you stay on God's narrow path.
I sat, with two friends, in the picture window of a quaint restaurant
just off the corner of the town-square. The food and the company were both especially
good that day. As we talked, my attention was drawn outside, across the street.
There, walking into town, was a man who appeared to be carrying all his worldly
goods on his back. He was carrying, a well-worn sign that read,
"I will work for food."
My heart sank. I brought him to the attention of my friends and
noticed that others around us had stopped eating to focus on him. Heads moved
in a mixture of sadness and disbelief.
We continued with our meal, but his image lingered in my mind.
We finished our meal and went our separate ways. I had errands to do and quickly
set out to accomplish them. I glanced toward the town square, looking somewhat
halfheartedly for the strange visitor. I was fearful, knowing that seeing him
again would call some response. I drove through town and saw nothing of him.
I made some purchases at a store and got back in my car.
Deep within me, the Spirit of God kept speaking to me: "Don't
go back to the office until you've at least driven once more around the square."
Then with some hesitancy, I headed back into town. As I turned the square's
third corner, I saw him. He was standing on the steps of the store front church,
going through his sack.
I stopped and looked; feeling both compelled to speak to him,
yet wanting to drive on. The empty parking space on the corner seemed to be
a sign from God: an invitation to park. I pulled in, got out and approached
the town's newest visitor.
"Looking for the pastor?" I asked.
"Not really," he replied, "just resting."
"Have you eaten today?"
"Oh, I ate something early this morning."
"Would you like to have lunch with me?"
"Do you have some work I could do for you?"
"No work," I replied. "I commute here to work from the city, but
I would like to take you to lunch."
"Sure," he replied with a smile. As he began to gather his things,
I asked some surface questions.
Where you headed?"
"St. Louis ."
"Where you from?"
"Oh, all over; mostly Florida ."
"How long you been walking?"
"Fourteen years," came the reply.
I knew I had met someone unusual. We sat across from each other
in the same restaurant I had left earlier. His face was weathered slightly beyond
his 38 years. His eyes were dark yet clear, and he spoke with an eloquence and
articulation that was startling. He removed his jacket to reveal a bright red
T-shirt that said, "Jesus is The Never Ending Story."
Then Daniel's story began to unfold. He had seen rough times early
in life. He'd made some wrong choices and reaped the consequences. Fourteen
years earlier, while backpacking across the country, he had stopped on the beach
in Daytona. He tried to hire on with some men who were putting up a large tent
and some equipment. A concert, he thought. He was hired, but the tent would
not house a concert but revival services, and in those services he saw life
more clearly. He gave his life over to God.
"Nothing's been the same since," he said, "I felt the Lord telling
me to keep walking, and so I did, some 14 years now."
"Ever think of stopping?" I asked.
"Oh, once in a while, when it seems to get the best of me. But
God has given me this calling. I give out Bibles . That's what's in my sack.
I work to buy food and Bibles, and I give them out when His Spirit leads."
I sat amazed. My homeless friend was not homeless. He was on a
mission and lived this way by choice. The question burned inside for a moment
and then I asked:
"What's it like?"
"To walk into a town carrying all your things on your back and
to show your sign?"
"Oh, it was humiliating at first. People would stare and make
comments. Once someone tossed a piece of half-eaten bread and made a gesture
that certainly didn't make me feel welcome. But then it became humbling to realize
that God was using me to touch lives and change people's concepts of other folks
My concept was changing, too.
We finished our dessert and gathered his things. Just outside the door, he paused.
He turned to me and said, "Come Ye blessed of my Father and inherit
the kingdom I've prepared for you. For when I was hungry you gave me food, when
I was thirsty you gave me drink, a stranger and you took me in."
I felt as if we were on holy ground.
"Could you use another Bible?" I asked.
He said he preferred a certain translation. It traveled well and
was not too heavy. It was also his personal favorite.
"I've read through it 14 times," he said.
"I'm not sure we've got one of those, but let's stop by our church
I was able to find my new friend a Bible that would do well, and he seemed very
"Where are you headed from here?" I asked.
"Well, I found this little map on the back of this amusement park
"Are you hoping to hire on there for awhile?"
"No, I just figure I should go there. I figure someone under that
star right there needs a Bible, so that's where I'm going next."
He smiled, and the warmth of his spirit radiated the sincerity
of his mission. I drove him back to the town-square where we'd met two hours
earlier, and as we drove, it started raining. We parked and unloaded his things.
"Would you sign my autograph book?" he asked.
"I like to keep messages from folks I meet."
I wrote in his little book that his commitment to his calling
had touched my life. I encouraged him to stay strong. And I left him with a
verse of scripture from Jeremiah,
"I know the plans I have for you, declared the Lord, plans to prosper you and
not to harm you; Plans to give you a future and a hope."
"Thanks, man," he said.
"I know we just met and we're really just strangers, but I love you."
"I know," I said, "I love you, too."
"The Lord is good!"
"Yes, He is. How long has it been since someone hugged you?" I
A long time," he replied And so on the busy street corner in the
drizzling rain, my new friend and I embraced, and I felt deep inside that I
had been changed. He put his things on his back, smiled his winning smile and
said, "See you in the New Jerusalem."
"I'll be there!" was my reply.
He began his journey again. He headed away with his sign dangling
from his bedroll and pack of Bibles. He stopped, turned and said,
"When you see something that makes you think of me, will you pray for me?"
"You bet," I shouted back, "God bless."
And that was the last I saw of him. Late that evening as I left
my office, the wind blew strong. The cold front had settled hard upon the town.
I bundled up and hurried to my car. As I sat back and reached for the emergency
brake, I saw them... a pair of well-worn brown work gloves neatly laid over
the length of the handle. I picked them up and thought of my friend and wondered
if his hands would stay warm that night without them. Then I remembered his
"If you see something that makes you think of me, will you pray for me?"
Today his gloves lie on my desk in my office. They help me to
see the world and its people in a new way, and they help me remember those two
hours with my unique friend and to pray for his ministry.
"See you in the New Jerusalem," he said.
Yes, Daniel, I know I will... "
I shall pass this way but once.
Therefore, any good that I can do or any kindness that I can show, let me do
it now, for I shall not pass this way again."
Prayer is one of the best gifts we receive.
There is no cost but a lot of rewards.
Let's continue to pray for one another.
God bless and have a nice day!
"Father, I ask you to bless my friends, relatives and e-mail buddies
reading this right now.
Show them a new revelation of your love and power. Holy Spirit, I ask you to
minister to their spirit at this very moment. Where there is pain, give them
your peace and mercy. Where there is self-doubt, release a renewed confidence
through your grace,
In Jesus' precious Name Amen."
For you to share
this message with others,
all you need to do is email them this address and they can see this page directly:
BACK TO THE CROCHET 'N' MORE HOME PAGE
BACK TO BIBLE TRIVIA
I hope you get lots of
enjoyment within these pages.
Please visit often!