Church on a Corner

b535a1caa95e36ffd416c54f59a1223bDriving through an intersection, after a visit at the homeless camps one morning, I saw a man waving his arms as if he was directing incoming airplanes.

It was a dear friend, who had spent time in jail due to some broken steps and recent trials. His wife had endured her own trials and yet, even as he’d returned to town, they walked together.

I spun my car around making a U-turn, and hopped from the car. His first words were, “I went to Church under the Bridge yesterday.”

I hugged him. “I’m so thankful. So how long have you been out? I didn’t recognize you. You’ve gained weight, and you look great!”

We chatted for a bit and others came by, friends who live at the shelters, friends who call home a tent. A man on a bike. A woman with a tote. Another few men with lingering steps.

We hung out at the intersection, a spot which became a place where I re-shared the verses from scripture that I’d taught at the recovery center.

One woman hung off to the side, leaning on a pole. She mumbled, “So you think you know our troubles? You think a few minutes here and there will make a difference?”

I moved to her. She backed behind the pole. I stepped closer. She side-stepped away from me.

Reaching for her arm, I touched her shoulder. “We haven’t talked too much, as you tend to hurry away from me. And yes, the gospel of Christ is worth me sharing at any moment. I want you to know Christ, personally.”

“He doesn’t care about me.”

“And why is that?”

“He … just doesn’t.” She stopped talking as the group of friends were now listening to her, and she sucked in a deep breath, “He’s not worried about me. I promise you.”

She then jolted in a fast pace across the street, and I rushed to her, “Wait. I have a question. Are you basing your perception of God’s care for you on … on what?”

“What do you mean?”

“You said God doesn’t care about you. Why?”

“Well, look at me. I’m broke. I have nothing.”

“So you’re basing His love and care for you on what you don’t have? Like money?”

“That’s not how I view His love. I’m basing His love and care for me, on what He did on the cross through the shedding of His blood. On His resurrection and redemption.”

“That’s easy to say. You have a car. You probably have a job too.”

“I do have a car and a job. But what I have is Christ! He’s the reason for my moving and breathing and serving Him. He saved me.”

She stopped, pointing her finger at me as we were now standing in the street. “You think you have the answer. You think you can just talk about Jesus and everyone will listen.”

“But If I don’t tell you, then I haven’t shown you His love. And I want to share Christ with you. I want you to be saved. I pray that you see Him and receive Him.”

About then, a car from behind us accelerated toward us, and I shoved her to the side, rushing with her out of the street.

She hollered at me, “Why did you push me?”

The others folks had run up to us, and a friend shouted, Those two are the devil. They act like they’re going to run over people all the time.”

Turning to my argumentative friend, I answered her, “You know, Satan came to destroy us. And Jesus came to give us life. We’re talking about your soul. And that car could have hit you. So a shove was my way of caring.”

Shaking her head, my friend waved me off, mumbling beneath her breath, and she hurried off.

Another shelter friend, remarked, “Give up on her. She’s a hard one.”

That’s when another friend called to me, the one who had just got out of jail. “Don’t give up on her, Ms. Pam. Don’t give up.”

I agreed with him. “I won’t. I love her, and I’m her friend. It only takes one moment for Christ to speak to a heart. To change a life.”

Then my friend’s wife added, “You left your car running. And your door open.” She pointed. “It’s a block back there.”

“So I did.” Jogging to my car, slowly, I prayed for my friend, for Christ to call her by name, to show her His love.

Well I left from the intersection (eventually), where scripture had given off its green signals, where caution lingered in a woman’s heart., and where the seeds of verses where shared.

It was like having church after church!! On the runway of life!! Or was that the intersection of life?

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