The Indigent

It was winter and he was living outside. He was chilled to the bone even when the wind didn’t blow. The two women he loved most in his life, both lost the war against cancer. An only child, and now he was alone. He drank to forget but that didn’t help so he smoked crack cocaine and he fell deeper and deeper into depression and isolation.

The Salvation Army offered a a warm place to sleep and he took it. He didn’t want the help. He hated asking for help although he knew he needed help. His days were lost in a fog; his nights in self pity. Mike didn’t know where to go or what to do. Each Saturday, he would go to Monroe Park. Christians came there to tell people about Jesus. “I don’t need to know about Jesus,” Mike thought. “I just need some help.”
It never dawned on Mike that Jesus was the help he needed. He thought he needed money and a job and a place to live and food. He needed a way to get all that. He hated asking for help but…this Saturday, he did. Not only did these Christians tell him about Jesus but they told him that Jesus was the Way….to get straight, get right, get a job, money and food. That day Mike took his first step forward; he listened, he believed and he accepted Jesus Christ as His Saviour.
These Christians didn’t just pray for him, they took him to a group home, got him working doing whatever needed to be done and got some food in his belly. He did all sorts of jobs for nearly six months before he told them…he was a dentist!
A dentist! Dentists aren’t homeless. They’re highly educated professionals. Dentists make lots of money, marry beautiful women and have children with a perfect smile. Whoever heard of a indigent dentist? Scripture, however, tells us that it rains on the just and the unjust. In the words I saw on a passing tee-shirt “Life Happens!”
He had lost his license due to his lifestyle but he soon began to learn that all things are possible with God. Through a series of events orchestrated by the Holy Spirit and the encouragement and love of Christians and Mike’s own courage, his life was resurrected! Little by little God has driven off alcohol, drugs and unworthiness

and Mike is getting stronger. Soon he’ll be able to be take full possession of the promised land of his life. Today Mike is working in a dental practice in Northern Virginia. He’s in the re-learning phase of things since his profession has advanced in his absence.
I share this story with you because I met Mike today. As I sat across the table, I had a difficult time imagining him as a drunken, dirty, smelly, homeless man. He was clean cut, personable, bright and in love with the Lord. Although he is a textbook example of the transformation that a life yielded to Christ makes, I wondered…..
How many people do I write-off as beyond help? How many homeless people have I passed by and didn’t speak with? And if my judgment was right 99 times out of 100…how about the one where I was wrong…isn’t the one worth the effort?