Have you ever been a part of something so much bigger than yourself, you sit back and say Wow God. Just Wow. Tonight I had that.
It started at a Junie B Jones play with Trinity. After the show I picked up a zagat, thats where God started this whole thing.
Sundays are date nights. Oh how we needed one too. It has been a few weeks due to illnesses. So Paul tells me he doesnt want to go to a burger joint. I suggested a few places and then looked in the zagat. Buca di Beppo. He ask if we had to have a reservation so I called. They didnt seem to understand I was only asking if we needed one not that I was making one. So our reservation was made for 5:45pm. I wasnt hungry and definitely not for Italian, but they made the reservation and I felt obligated to go. Paul found a coupon online so I was happy to be saving money.
We got to Buca at exactly 5:45. I had noticed carriage rides outside of the restaurant and decided we would have to do that after dinner. Oh my gosh was Buca AH-MAZE-ING! We had garlic bread dipped in oil and balsamic vinegar. Oh wow. So amazing. We also had manicotti, stuffed shells and stuffed ravioli. After we ate we had a manicotti, stuffed shell and 2 raviolis left. We order chocolate chip canollis to go. The dessert kept taking forever. She kept forgetting to bring it and what not. I didnt care, I was having a great night with my husband in an awesome place. I know now that God was timing that dessert perfectly. We got the dessert, paid the bill and left. We walked out the door and literally walked only a few feet and came upon a man who ask us for help. I will have Paul tell this part:
So we stopped to talk to him thinking he was going to ask for directions. He was shocked that we actually stopped to talk to him. He explained that nobody would even stop to talk to him. He was from Butler, his mom died at Christmas time and he came to the city to find a job. He was to start working at Goodwill in Lawrencville this week and his family was going to come down to join him. He was staying at shelters and trying to get on his feet. He had a shelter lined up for last night, but didn't know where it was so he had stayed on the streets and was very tired.
He told us that a church down the street let him keep his bags there, he told the priest that he was new to this... The priest said, new to the city? He said, no I'm a new Christian. He had been saved 4 days ago! He said that the priest told him that God would send his angels for him, He said well, where are they because no one will even talk to me. (this really struck me, the man was a brand new christian and felt slighted by God.)
We asked him what he needed, how could we help. He said he needed $19 in order to stay at the Light of Life Mission on the North Side. (yes, he was far from where he needed to be). I gave him a $20 and Ashlee handed him our leftovers. He said, are you kidding me?! I need to sit down for a minute. He sat on the bench and we asked again where he needed to be. He said by AGH on the north shore, and asked about the busses in Pittsburgh.
This is where we leave the comfort zone. We offered him a ride to the shelter. He was very grateful and accepted. We nervously walked to the car, Ashlee fell behind a few steps behind so she could text a few people to tell them what we were doing.. Just in case....
On the way to the car he indicated that he needed $4 to get his anti-psycotic medications (that made us feel so much more confortable). I gave him another $5 so he could get his meds. During the ride over he ate the leftovers we had given him. We finally made it to the shelter and dropped him off.
Ashlee here. Just wanted to put in my feelings during this. I ask him if he needed a ride. I dont even know how those words came out of my mouth they just did. After he accepted I saw the worry in Paul's face and the shock at what I had just done. Immediately I prayed. Ok God. This is where you come in. We are doing only what we believe we should do, what you would have us do so I need to ask a favor...keep us safe. Let us go home to our babies. I trust you. I believe in you. I TRUST YOU GOD. I had no worries. I did what I could to be safe though and texted two friends. The one I just simply said we are doing what we believe God wants us to do if I dont text you again in an hour or so call me if I dont answer call the police. I told my other friend what we were doing where we were where we were going and gave a detailed description of the man. Just in case...
We got in the car and before he got in I moved a piece of metal that had been in there for some reason and put it at my feet. If he was going to hurt us I could fight back, but really I knew he wouldnt. I just knew. I felt so much peace in that car. No worried no doubts just trust, trusting my savior with my life and my husband's.
After he left I cant explain to you the feelings I had. I was happy, excited, overjoyed, energized. I watched in the mirror him turn the corner into the alley and I thought in that alley he could just disappear. His name was Sam but what I mean is maybe his name wasnt Sam, maybe he wasnt one of us. I know you think I sound crazy right now, but what if...what if that was Jesus?
Matthew 25:37-43 Then those 'sheep' are going to say, 'Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?' Then the King will say, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.'"Then he will turn to the 'goats,' the ones on his left, and say, 'Get out, worthless goats! You're good for nothing but the fires of hell. And why? Because—
I was hungry and you gave me no meal,
I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
I was homeless and you gave me no bed,
I was shivering and you gave me no clothes,
Sick and in prison, and you never visited.'
or maybe he was an angel? Hebrews 13:2 "Be ready with a meal or a bed when it’s needed. Why, some have extended hospitality to angels without ever knowing it!"
Paul and I arent sharing this story to brag and say look at what we did. Please hear our hearts tonight.We are amazed that God had faith in us to believe that we would help this man, to put us in his path. Not only were we able to help him with his immediate physical needs, but we were able to help a young Christian see that God will provide his needs.
So, I leave you with a request. Please pray for Sam and his family. That they are able to get on their feet, That Sam is able to keep his new job and that he is able to get the rest he needs tonight.
We have a job to do on Earth as Christ-followers, and this is it: Showing people God's love. I believe we had an encounter with none other than Jesus himself tonight...