I grabbed three Bibles, praying the Lord would guide me to the persons who needed them one night as I headed to the street to love on the homeless.
But first, before heading to the streets, I drove to the grocery store, knowing the temperature of 90 degrees meant my homeless friends might be a tad-bit thirsty.
And boy did I find a great sale. The 32-oz. size, sports drinks … drum roll … were $.49 cents each. You had to buy 10 to get the discount, and of course, I wanted 20 of them.
Driving downtown, with scripture cards and with the giant sports drinks, which by the way were COLD, I parked across from the Salvation Army.
A couple of my friends helped me carry the drinks to the hot, sweaty people who lingered near the half-brick wall. A man spelled his name for me. Another told me he needed a “Pam” hug. A few others introduced themselves.
One woman hollered from across the street, “I hope you have one left,” her smile big, her arms waving.
I yelled, “You get the last one, and it’s green like your top!”
Standing next to me, a dear (new) homeless friend shared his story of redemption, of being a new Christian, of finding money in a drainage ditch in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
The lady next to him asked, “Are you that lady who has big-print Bibles?”
Nodding, I smiled, “I think I am. I actually have three with me.”
I gave her a purple colored one, and she told me of her journey, of her hopes, of her mistakes in life. She wept, and she asked if I’d come back and see her again. Which I said yes, that I would.
We prayed together, and my Hot Springs friend joined us in prayer, too. The lady hugged me one more time, as if saying goodbye made her sad. I embraced her, “I’ll be back. I promise.”
“I hope so. Most people leave and don’t return.” She rushed off, and moved to the chapel for church service.
A stranger came up. “I heard you have cold drinks.”
“I did, but I’m out. I’m so sorry.”
A few folks standing nearby, all with plenty to sip on, whispered amongst themselves, and then a lady called to the man, “Here, take one of ours. We have more than enough.”
I praised them for being so kind to the man, and one man in their group added, “It’s hot out here. And he’s burning up.”
So tonight, my friends came and went, and my green-shirt lady announced, “I think I’ll go to church and get out of this heat.”
I walked up to her, “Let God can speak to you through the sermon … I’m sure that He will, even as you cool off.”
She hugged me, like we were long-lost sisters. “I know. I do need to slow down and listen.”
After a bit, and after saying some more goodbyes, and after the lady disappeared inside the chapel, I started to get into the car when the green-shirt lady ran back up to me. “T. and S., they both said you have one more Bible in your car.”
I turned, “I do. So, you’re planning to listen to the sermon?”
She grinned, “Yes, and if I had a Bible, maybe I could follow along, too.”
I opened the door, handing her the teal Bible with giant words. “Here you go. I believe the Lord sent this just for you.”
She grabbed my neck, “You’re so right! I’ve never had a brand-new Bible in my entire life! And it’s my favorite color!”
Smiling, I watched her run to church, and I couldn’t help but wonder, “What if the Bible had been purple? Would purple have been her favorite color, instead?”
And I answered myself, “Of course it would. Any Bible we hold should always be our favorite!”