I glanced at the faces inside, knowing full well that the day before, he canceled our meeting. But when I talked to him on the phone, I moved quickly, by committing him to another appointment.
Inside the McDonald’s, I touched one man on the shoulder, asking if he was C. He smiled, “No, I’m not, but I could be.”
“Thank you. That’s all right.”
I sat down, watching the door, scanning each face in case my homeless friend showed up. I gave up after a bit, and was sure he changed his mind, so I gathered up my backpack, and ducked out the door.
As I started the car, movement outside my driver’s window brought a tall, thin man into view. Rolling my window down, I called to him. “Are you C.?”
“Yes, I’m sorry I’m late.”
We sat inside, after I bought his breakfast and he shared stories from 1976, the year my sixth novel “Unshackled Courage” will take place, the year the movie, “The Town that Dreaded Sundown” was filmed.
Sitting with this man who knew more about the movie than many might, took my heart by surprise. And yet, his own life is filled with struggles, and when I gazed inside, deeper, I noticed a lack of joy and peace, and purpose.
However, I believe each step in my own life has brought me to the very moment when “not only did I need research for this book”, but each of the novels has connected me with real people, who could use a message of hope.
After talking with my new friend, I was able to leave my book, “My View from the Bridge” with him, one with photos and stories of people I’ve met at Church under the Bridge or on the street. And he wanted to read the first novel, which I had with me, too, which is “Untied Shoelace.”
For me, this journey began with suffering when my best friend in California was murdered (1981), leading to her husband became homeless. And his untimely death. But then, the Lord called me to the broken, to loving on those who often don’t have a place to call home.
My friend’s murder became catalyst for me to walk bravely for Christ—in a way I’ve never done before. To boast of my Savior! Through suffering. In the good and the bad!
Thus, I can’t wait to see how God uses my new friendship with C., for the Kingdom—as He guides and directs our steps.
You know, I never spoke of Christ to Manuela Witthuhn (1981), instead, I walked a quiet walk of faith, not knowing how to share my hope—but also intimated by others. My own insecurities kept me from sharing Him with others.
Which meant, I kept my faith inside—afraid to walk in courage for God. And then she was murdered! And some said she wasn’t a Christian! And I was devastated!
Now, I must tell others the good news of Christ! It’s a matter of life and death! Thus, I shared Christ with C. at McDonald’s because I believe that’s the ‘real’ reason we were meeting—which has everything to do with God who orchestrated this divine encounter!
May we share Christ and tell of His mercy and grace and salvation! Before it’s too late!