His name was James
It was my last day in Chicago and we wanted to go down to see this thing called the BEAN. This huge weird shaped reflective piece of art in the middle of downtown. As we walked up to where it was there was this really happy homeless guy that wanted to talk to us. I was thinking, ok this guy is going to ask for money and I just gave away money to all the other homeless people on the way and didn’t have any more small bills. But there was something about about this guy when he talked. There was a glow of joy that I didn’t see in any other people on the street. So I had to ask him what that was all about and He told me his story and how he had ended up on the streets.
He had been in the penitentiary for selling drugs to an undercover cop and because he didn’t like authority figures he immediately went into live or die mode and put the officer in the hospital to try to get away. They locked him up and gave him 22 years in prison for selling drugs and assault on an officer. While he was in jail he had a lot of time on his hands and they were passing out bibles, so he decided to take one. When he started to read it, he was transformed and he gave his life over to Jesus and dramatically changed.
He was a new man forgiven of all of his past and experienced God first hand in his life and saw that he was protected from the guys in jail. He didn’t have any backing or a crew that he grouped up with, so he was a target and he had seen God get him out of some situations that could only be of God’s protection. From that, he dedicated his life to Jesus and his survival mode that came from living on the streets changed.
He had just gotten out and he didn’t live for the streets any more, he lived for Jesus. He was in the process of getting back on his feet and so full of joy. He said when those police officers saw him the next time, they noticed that he was fully changed and that angry man that he was before, was filled with a new spirit.
God had put it on my heart to bless him financially and pray for him. I was encouraged by what God was doing in his life and he was encouraged by the love of Christ that we had. He said that most people wouldn’t even talk with him because he was homeless, so he saw the love that we had from our Lord. That instant connection of the spirit that brought us together to sharpen each other.
There are so many people around us daily that are good people and just need a little encouragement. James, Tony, and Wanda were those people and I was encouraged by them. I want to encourage you to go out of your busy day and help somebody in need. You might be entertaining angels.