Fired by love's urgent longings, I am his rocketman.
Who Is Helping Whom?

Who Is Helping Whom?

If you abide in me and I abide in you, you will bear much fruit for apart from me, you can do nothing.  John 15:5

On the way home from work Friday night, I stopped for a man struggling with his suitcase and the other things he was carrying.  I noticed him out of the corner of my eye as I was driving along talking on my cell phone.  I asked him if he could use a ride and he said, “Yes”.  He put his bag and other stuff in the back seat and sat down in the passenger seat next to me.  He hand me directions to the hotel he was looking for as I finished my telephone conversation.

I introduced myself and he began to explain that he had spent all day trying to get admitted to the VA Hospital into a six month in house alcohol treatment program.  Apparently the VA was unable to admit him on Friday, but will admit him on Monday.  IN the meantime, someone at the VA made arrangements for him to stay in a half way house on Saturday and Sunday night;  his sister arranged a hotel room for Friday night.

At the time I picked him up his was trying to make his way to the bus stop to catch a ride to the hotel.  His sister made a reservation for him at the Econo Lodge.  There happens to be an Econo Lodge right across the street from the hospital; that’s where his sister told him he had a reservation.  But, when he went to check in, the desk clerk told him that he did not have a reservation at that location. She directed him to another Econo Lodge across town.  When I encountered him, that was his destination.

As we drove along, I asked him why he decided to seek the alcohol treatment.  He told me that his mother is 88 and, although she is doing fine for now, he doesn’t want to show up at her funeral drunk.  He explained that this is his last stop.  It is time for him to do something about his problem.  He was very forthright about and seemed committed to changing his life.

When we arrived at the other Econo Lodge, I waited outside to make sure he was able to check in.  He soon came back out to tell me that this hotel didn’t have a record of his reservation either.  I gave him my cell phone to call his sister.   She told him that his reservation was at the hotel across the street from the hospital.  So we turned around and headed back in the direction we had just come from.

On the way back, he explained how he caught a bus that morning from his home town so he could enter the alcohol program only to find out when hetrees sunrise b&w finalprntadj got here that the person responsible for admitting people to the program didn’t work on Fridays.  He  spent a very frustrating day at the hospital but would have to wait around till Monday to start the program.  Now he was having trouble finding the right hotel.  I could tell that he was a little discouraged.  He was trying to get his life straightened out but was having difficulty getting started.

Back at the original hotel, I parked the car and went inside with him.  As soon as we got inside, the clerk apologized,  explaining that his reservation was there all along, but that it had been misfiled.  She was very kind to him and clearly felt  bad that she had put him through all that trouble.

Once he was checked in, he followed me back out to the car to get his stuff.  I asked him if I could pray for him.  He gratefully accepted my prayers.  Afterward he thanked me for having the courage to stop for him and for going out of my way to help him.  I could tell he was really encouraged and, as I was leaving, he said, “I really believe God had you there for me”.

danville statues ky finalI believe that too.  I drive that same route home day after day and I have never stopped for anyone else.  In fact, I don’t think I have ever seen anyone there who I thought needed help.  If I hadn’t come along, he would have used his bus pass to get to the other hotel, only to find out that he was in the wrong place.  I am not sure what he would have done then.  I suppose he had enough money to catch a bus back to the original hotel, but I’m not sure how he would have contacted his sister without a phone.   I guess he could have borrowed someone’s phone.  Most likely, he would have ended up in the right place though I think he would have arrived there much later and in a much different mood.

For my part, I am grateful for the opportunity to be an encouragement to him.  It cost me almost nothing, a little bit of gas and a little bit of time.  But I received much more.  For those few minutes when I was helping him, I felt like I was doing exactly what the Father had arranged for me to do.  I was doing his perfect will.  Even though I pray daily to do his will, I don’t often have experiences when I am absolutely certain that I am doing exactly what he wants me to do at the exact moment he is asking me to do it.  And the best part is, I can’t take any credit for it.  He arranged the whole thing.

Photos compliments of Jim Begley

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Comments

  1. Bob Garrett says:

    Mark,

    I’m sure Jesus will speak to you about this act of kindness at some point in eternity. I’m proud of you, brother!

    Blessings,
    BG

    • Thanks for your comment. It’s hard not to put yourself in that position and wonder what you would do. Sometimes we are distracted and we miss opportunities — we may not even know that we missed them. In this case I don’t see how I could have done anything different than what I did. I wouldn’t want to presume anything the Lord might say, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he said something like:“Suppose one of you has a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Will he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? 8 Won’t he rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? 9 Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? 10 So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’” (Luke 17:7-10)

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