Indian Charlie, Patrick and Linda came in out of the cold to visit. They were not expected and not particularly welcomed. They were under the influence of alcohol. Their words were a bit slurred and they smelled like someone who lived under a bridge smells.
Something seemed to whisper “listen to them.” So I did.
They began to talk about their love for God. Indian Charlie called him the big man in the sky. All shared their trust in God to take care of them. They didn’t fit in a church setting, but they fit into God’s setting.
I talked about how God used them to talk with others about Him. Linda corrected me. “We are not used,” she said, “we are ultilized in God’s work.” To her God didn’t take advantage of them being poor, uneducated or homeless. Rather, he took advantage of the situation they were in to reach out to others in similar circumstances.
We talked about what true education and wisdom was. We agreed it had nothing to do with a college degree, but everything to do with everyday life. There are lessons to be learned in all circumstances, especially hard ones. These three were wise in the ways of life compared to so many who think they are wise.
I was humbled. Charlie, Patrick and Linda were far more capable of reaching the down and out than I was. They were doing it. They were sharing love, support, and encouragement among a population that desperately needed it.
Paul said: “Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things-and the things that are not-to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God-that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:26-31).
As the threesome left I was reminded that if God can use a homeless alcoholic, then He can use me too! I think I’ll let Him lead me through another day.