The other day, I spent time on the street with homeless friends, laughing with some, challenging others with their belief in Christ, and talking openly about life and choices. I saw a man hovering under the hood of the not-so-new truck across from the shelter, and it was apparent the truck had seen better days. I caught myself watching, caught myself knowing, caught myself getting some money from my wallet, and parked my SUV.
I walked to where he sat on the curb, chatting with one of my homeless friends. I asked, “So, what’s wrong with your truck?”
He explained truck-engine talk to me as if I understood, “It’s not the distributor but a piece next to it.” (Yes, he said what the other part was, but I don’t recall what he said, as I’d glazed over by then, but I nodded as if I knew all about engines).
I quizzed him. “So, how much will those parts cost?” “Maybe $30 or a bit more. I’m not sure.” His words fell silent, his eyes downcast, his pockets empty.
I clutched the bills. “I believe the Lord wants to fix your truck.”
“Really? You think so?” I handed him the money. “This will get you what you need.”
“Are you sure? I don’t want to … I didn’t mean to make it sound like I was asking you.”
“It’s not my money. It belongs to God. He let me bring it to you.”
His face found a smile hidden behind his worry. “I can’t believe you have the amount I need.”
“I can. We serve a God who cares about us. Billy, can I pray for you?”
“Sure.” I asked my mutual friend nearby. “Do you want to pray with us too?”
He hurried to my side, sitting on the concrete. “Yes, you know I want to pray. Will you pray for my auntie? She’s 85.”
I took their hands, “Sure. I can do just that.” My praying friend sighed, “She’s the only auntie I have left.”
So we prayed, talked, hugged, and said our goodbyes. I moved along to chat with others, handed out hygiene bags, and met a few more people whose smiles showed up during our visit.
Then, about an hour later, I drove down a street past an auto parts store on my way to another part of town, and there was Billy, coming from inside the auto parts store carrying a bag in his hand. Yes, it was Billy! I expect he had the parts to his truck. And he’d walked to the store to get the pieces to fix his engine.
His gait was strong, and his smile was still plastered on his face! It was like watching “renewed hope” walking down the sidewalk! Now, isn’t that what God does? He’s in the business of fixing our broken hearts with the right piece–His love and forgiveness offered just for us!
So today, I offer you a challenge. Surprise someone with a gift that fixes their day. Offer to sit with them. And do pray. But make sure you bring Jesus into the conversation too. He fixes and makes all things new!