Saturday, February 27, 2010

Daniels Gloves / Embracing the Homeless

  I sat, with

 two friends, in the picture window of a quaint restaurant

 just off the corner of the town-square. The food and the
 company were both especially good that day.

 As we

 talked, my attention was drawn outside, across the street.

 There, walking into town, was a man who appeared to be

 carrying all his worldly goods on his back. He was carrying,

a well-worn sign that read, 'I will work for food.'

My heart sank.

 I brought

him to the attention of my friends and noticed that others

 around us had stopped eating to focus on him.

 Heads moved in a mixture of sadness and



 continued with our meal, but his image lingered in my mind.

 We finished our meal and went our separate ways. I had

 errands to do and quickly set out to accomplish them. I

 glanced toward the town square, looking somewhat

 halfheartedly for the strange visitor. I was fearful,

 knowing that seeing him again would call some response. I

 drove through town and saw nothing of him. I made some

 purchases at a store and got back in my car.

Deep within

 me, the Spirit of God kept speaking to me: 'Don't go

 back to the office until you've at least driven once

 more around the square.'

 Then with

 some hesitancy, I headed back into town. As I turned the

 square's third corner, I saw him. He was standing on the

 steps of the store front church, going through his


 I stopped

 and looked; feeling both compelled to speak to him, yet

 wanting to drive on. The empty parking space on the corner

seemed to be a sign from God: an invitation to park. I

 pulled in, got out and approached the town's newest



 for the pastor?' I asked.


 really,' he replied, 'just resting.'


 you eaten today?'

 'Oh, I

ate something early this morning.'


 you like to have lunch with me?'

 'Do you

 have some work I could do for you?'


 work,' I replied 'I commute

 here to work from the city, but I would like to take you

 to lunch...'


 he replied with a smile.

 As he began

 to gather his things, I asked some surface questions. Where

 you headed?'

 ' St.

 Louis '


 you from?'


 all over;

 mostly Florida ...'


 long you been walking?'


 years,' came the reply.

 I knew I

 had met someone unusual. We sat across from each other in

 the same restaurant I had left earlier. His face was

 weathered slightly beyond his 38 years. His eyes were dar

 yet clear, and he spoke with an eloquence and articulation

 that was startling He removed his jacket to reveal a bright

 red T-shirt that said, 'Jesus is The Never Ending



 Daniel's story began to unfold. He had seen rough times

early in life. He'd made some wrong choices and reaped

 the consequences.. Fourteen years earlier, while backpacking

across the country, he had stopped on the beach in
 Daytona... He tried to hire on with some men who were

putting up a large tent and some equipment. A concert, he


 He was

 hired, but the tent would not house a concert but revival

 services, and in those services he saw life more clearly. He

 gave his life over to God


 been the same since,' he said, 'I felt the Lord

 telling me to keep walking, and so I did, some 14 years



 think of stopping?' I asked.


 once in a while, when it seems to get the best of me But God

 has given me this calling. I give out Bibles That's

 what's in my sack. I work to buy food and Bibles, and I

 give them out when His Spirit leads.'

 I sat

 amazed. My homeless friend was not homeless. He was on a

 mission and lived this way by choice. The question burned

 inside for a moment and then I asked: 'What's it




 walk into a town carrying all your things on your back and

 to show your sign?'

 'Oh, it

was humiliating at first. People would stare and make

comments. Once someone tossed a piece of half-eaten bread

 and made a gesture that certainly didn't make me feel

 welcome. But then it became humbling to realize that God was

 using me to touch lives and change people's concepts of

 other folks like me.'

My concept

 was changing, too. We finished our dessert and gathered his

 things. Just outside the door, he paused He turned to me

 and said, 'Come Ye blessed of my Father and inherit the

 kingdom I've prepared for you. For when I was hungry you

 gave me food, when I was thirsty you gave me drink, a

 stranger and you took me in.'

 I felt as

if we were on holy ground. 'Could you use another

 Bible?' I asked.

 He said he

 preferred a certain translation. It traveled well and was

 not too heavy. It was also his personal favorite..

'I've read through it 14 times,' he



 not sure we've got one of those,

but let's stop by our church and see' I was able

 to find my new friend a Bible that would do well, and he

 seemed very grateful.

 'Where are you headed from here?' I asked.


 I found this little map on the back of this amusement park



 you hoping to hire on there for a while?'

 'No, I

 just figure I should go there. I figure someone under that

 star right there needs a Bible, so

 that's where I'm going next.'

 He smiled,

 and the warmth of his spirit radiated the sincerity of his

 mission. I drove him back to the town-square where we'd

 met two hours earlier, and as we drove, it started raining.

 We parked and unloaded his things.


 you sign my autograph book?' he asked... 'I like to

 keep messages from folks I meet.'

 I wrote in

 his little book that his commitment to his calling had

 touched my life. I encouraged him to stay strong. And I left

 him with a verse of scripture from Jeremiah, 'I know the

 plans I have for you, declared the Lord, 'plans to

 prosper you and not to harm you; Plans to give you a future

 and a hope.'


 man,' he said. 'I know we just met and we're

 really just strangers, but I love you.'


 know,' I said, 'I love you, too.' 'The Lord

 is good!'


 He is. How long has it been since someone hugged you?' I


  A long

 time,' he replied

 And so on

 the busy street corner in the drizzling rain, my new friend

 and I embraced, and I felt deep inside that I had been

 changed.. He put his things on his back, smiled his winning

 smile and said, 'See you in the New



 be there!' was my reply.

He began

 his journey again. He headed away with his sign dangling

 from his bedroll and pack of Bibles. He stopped, turned and

 said, 'When you see something that makes you think of

me, will you pray for me?'

 bet,' I shouted back, 'God bless.'


 bless.' And that was the last I saw of him.

Late that

 evening as I left my office, the wind blew strong. The cold

 front had settled hard upon the town. I bundled up and

 hurried to my car. As I sat back and reached for the

 emergency brake, I saw them... a pair of well-worn brown

 work gloves neatly laid over the length of the handle. I

 picked them up and thought of my friend and wondered if his

 hands would stay warm that night without them.

 Then I

 remembered his words: 'If you see something that makes

you think of me, will you pray for me?'

 Today his

 gloves lie on my desk in my office.. They help me to see the

 world and its people in a new way, and they help me remember

 those two hours with my unique friend and to pray for his

 ministry. 'See you in the New Jerusalem,' he said.

 Yes, Daniel, I know I will...

 'I shall pass this way but once. Therefore, any good that I can

 do or any kindness that I can show, let me do it now, for I



  1. I found your blog through another blog. Your little crochet hat lead me here. Thank you for sharing Daniel's story with me. So inspiring to see how many different ways the Lord works through us all. My calling is to stay at home with my three children and homeschool them in the way He wants. I feel so blessed to have heard His words so strongly and I am honored to hear Daniel's story and the calling the Lord had prepared for him. I am currently knitting my little boy a pair of mittens, mittens that mean so much more now. I too will say a little prayer for Daniel whenever I see the mittens I made for my son. Forever in His grip...

  2. Dear LDM...Thank you for leaving such a sweet comment. I did not see away that I could respond to your comment. But, just incase you come back to this post, I want to tell you that I also stayed home with my children, raise them the way I felt the Lord would want. It was not always easy, not much time to myself, not much money, not as much time with grownups. But I can tell you now today, as my baby is graduating from High School. I am so please, because I made the right choice for my family and I can say my job was well done....:) Good luck on your motherhood adventures....may you also, have the time of your life! Lisa