From somewhere in the wind, the wrinkled man appeared like a talk tree in his boots and cowboy hat. The black rim on the hat. The shadow-colored shirt. The dark pants. And yes, the black boots when contrasted against the clouds in the sky made his outfit appear more like the color of deep charcoal.
His unkempt gray beard whipped in the wind like bristles on a broom, and he tapped his foot on the brown grass. Strumming the smoky colored guitar with his calloused fingers, I’m sure a tune rose up like blooms on a flower, but no one could hear the song from the rush of the highway cars roaring by.
He stood in the medium between the entrance and exit leading to and from the giant retail store. And still, he played, all the while, grinning and singing and swaying.
I sat in my car in the parking lot next to this one-man-concert and gathered up the gazillion quarters and dimes and loose change in the middle of my dash (had already depleted my other funds).
Music Rises Up
I poured the money into my friend’s hands (she’s in the passenger seat), and I’m thankful for this brave person who dares to ride with me on ministry outings. It’s not like she doesn’t already know that I’m not your normal run of the mill friend, let alone street ministry gal. But she gave me, her—you’re-making-me-get-out-of-the-car and forcing-me-to-love-on-this-man-for-Christ stare.
I returned the glare with my—I-know-you-can-do-it, and she finally (reluctantly) stepped from the car, and rushed to the man, carrying the money. I’m sure she offered kind words, and I even saw them both smiling at each other. Turns out, she told him about her own love of music, too. See, they had a kindred heart.
Now, it was great that she offered kindness to this lone wanderer, who we learned also writes songs and who got a late start in life in his pursuit of music. And I love that she trusted God, even if I shoved her.
Somehow, I expect those steps across the parking lot to the man strumming his songs, did something to her heart as she weathered the cold, as she spoke to the stranger, as she met the lost soul on the side of the road, letting Him know he was not alone.
I also expect it make her feel not so alone herself. I know that it made my own heart swell with hope at seeing them interact, at her obedience to loving like Christ.
Music Falls Like a Tumbleweed
Now before you think I simply watched, I did chase down my own stranger who walked like a tumbleweed in the wind, and I tripped on the curb hurrying to his side. I made friends with a red-faced man wearing a winter coat and limping with the peg leg. I tell you this because he told me it seemed he was walking better than me.
His laugh, those green eyes, a hand-warmer (okay, several) for his exposed hands in the chill, and a chance to share God’s love with him made yesterday complete even if it was only noon.
So take the Pam-you-can-do-it-for-God-challenge and seek out the lonely and let them know Christ loves them! Share the hope of Jesus with them, too. It can be music to your soul! And to theirs!
But be ready, there’s no telling what God will have you do—if you have eyes to see and ears to hear! Especially if you have a friend like me to push you out of the car!