Stop for the one

I had the opportunity a few days ago to bless a friend with a nice birthday dinner. I listened as he told me the story of his life, how he has lived on the streets since his teenage years; more than 40 years in total. He recounted the pain of being unloved and unwanted by his parents, the sadness of the death of his wife, the pain numbing effects of drug use, and the many stories of being mistreated by churches. It broke my heart to hear about the tough life he has endured and the continuing pain that he endures every day. I pray for him often and I wonder why we haven’t seen any major breakthroughs for his needs. When the server came with a birthday dessert and sang happy birthday to him, tears began to fill his eyes. I could tell it has been a long time since someone has taken the time to treat him like an equal and I could see how touched he was even though he quickly kept himself from crying.
We all come across broken people every day. Some are homeless, some are sitting in the office cubicle next to us. It’s easy to walk past them, especially when they are seen as societies outcasts. It’s easy to think that helping them or simply saying hello isn’t our problem. But what if we looked at it from a different perspective? What if we viewed it as an opportunity instead of a problem? It’s an opportunity to love and bless someone who has forgotten what love looks like; or maybe has never felt loved. As I left that evening I found myself asking God what the solution was for my friend. There has to be an answer, there has to be a breakthrough available for him. And I won’t stop praying until I see it.
Heidi Baker is famous for her admonition to “stop for the one.” We our surrounded by broken people who need to feel loved. When is the last time you sat with someone who is completely broken? Maybe today is a good day to start.

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