I don’t even need my eyes open to type anymore. I know all the keys, where they are and the designated finger assigned to press. I think and then type, sometimes type as I think, deleting the incorrectly spelled words, then continuing. I could do it all with my eyes closed.
I read the bible again today. I chose the flip-till-you-feel-good approach and came to the verses on love in 1 Cor 13:4-8 Love is patient, love is kind.It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
It was great to read. I was on my roof on the Detroit Skyline with the wind blowing and the sun peaking in an out of fast moving low lying cumulus clouds. I prayed after reading that to see where God was telling me to apply that message. I first thought of my good friends that I have that I don’t give grace to sometimes. But then my mind went to how often that passage is used in weddings and how cliche it has become to put in weddings.Well I am not going to use that in my wedding I thought. Then I thought that thought was silly as God’s word is so good and might strike a cord with someone needing to hear it.
The wind picked up and I headed inside to make a call for my Ukraine trip. I sat at my computer to look for hotels in Dumbo, Brooklyn, NY for Sat night for the group going over there and heard someone calling my name from the street. I recognized the voice as my homeless friend that I have been helping out for the past two years. I suppose he, Bruce, had seen me on my balcony on the 8th floor a few minutes before. I felt uninclined to come to my window to answer his calling.
“Steve? Is Steve up there? Steve?” It continued. In the middle of calling out to all the strangers around him in front of the jazz club, he saw me and asked me for help.
“If I came to my balcony”, I thought, “then I would come downstairs and ask him, ‘What do you need?’ I already know what he needs”, I continued thinking. “He needs change or bottles and I have just sent more bills out with checks in them than I have money in my account.” I don’t have change and I don’t have bottles.
The voice asked my name a few more times and then it stopped. About 4 months ago, when it was really cold, I bought Bruce a place to stay for 3 weeks and told him he needed to get a job and stuff. Nothing came from it so I discontinued putting money towards him for a free home.
I looked out the window after all that thought to see if he was around to see. Nope. He had gone on. 5 hours later in the shower a thought came to me, “How do you love others who call out to you?” and more importantly, “Love never ends” which was in the scripture I read hours before. Love never ends. Unlike God’s grace I came to a place where I thought I knew the boundaries of showing others love.
Praise be to God for his grace. I, we, call out to God time and time again out of disbelief when he knows our needs and will supply for them.
In the middle of the lessons you learn, don’t only try and apply them to your past decisions, don’t only try and write them on your heart for future times, but be still and understand more times than none will your lesson be directly and deliberately equipping you for your present. I have denied Bruce the past 3 or 4 times the things he needs becuase he choses to be on the streets instead of getting off of them. I come to God the same way Bruce comes to me, for provision, but I deny bruce because he wont change. I usually don’t change, at least not quickly, and God doesn’t deny me.
I am humbled and pray that his shows his mercy on me so that I can show mercy on others.