I joined my homeless friend on the trail, and he looked at me. “I’m late for Church under the Bridge, aren’t I?”
“Yes. But our meeting each other is perfect.”
He pulled his wallet from his pocket, the papers inside were like one big blob. “I have a prescription and need it filled. My eyes are burning. This is for eye drops.”
My first reaction was easy. “I’ll get it filled for you.”
Another friend drove him to a place to wait, while I headed to the pharmacy. Inside, I peeled the prescription from another teeny paper that was stuck to it, and the wad dropped to the floor. It was a note with a name, a phone number, and a verse: Acts 2:38.
I placed the verse-paper in my pocket; sure it was important for my friend to keep. I then shared my limited budget at the counter, and was thankful when the pharmacist told me the price. A reduced price for my friend. And it fit nicely within my collection of pennies.
A short time later, I found my friend at Taco Bell, and we went inside. I bought lunch, his favorite: two bean and cheese, grilled burritos with a million jalapeños. He likes Coke, like I do, but Pepsi was our drink of choice.
I sat with him, and he removed his hat, folded his hands together, and led us in a prayer. “Dear God, thank you for the man who gave me a ride. Thank you for medicine. And thank you for the food you provided.” He then devoured his meal, sharing how two nice ambulance drivers gave him a ride to emergency last Sunday. No one called them. They just happened to drive by his tree.
Turns out, his eyes needed antibiotics, but he’d suffered all week unable to fill the script.
I reminded him. “You did put the drops in your eyes?”
“Yes, when you got our food.”
“Good. Use them four times a day.”
“I will. I put the bottle in my pocket.”
“Pocket? Wait, I have something for you. Your prescription was wadded up with this note. Do you know him? He wrote a verse for you.”
“I don’t know him.”
“Well, he must have talked you at least once. And I just happened to look the verse up for you.”
“He must have thought I needed to know it.”
I smiled. “Maybe I needed it too.”
“I suppose you’re going to share it.”
“I am. It was from your friend after all.”
“But I don’t know him.”
“Well, he knows you. You have his note.”
Smacking he asked, “What does the verse say?”
“And Peter said to them, ‘Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.'”
“That’s a good verse.”
“Yes it is. It’s perfect.”
Two Years to Read that Verse
As I left my friend, he waved at me through the window while sipping on his soda, and I found myself even more thankful for running into him than usual. And the note seemed to speak life to me in a way I hadn’t expected.
The next day I texted the phone number from that note, as I’d taken a photo of it to remember. I’d learn the man who left the verse did so about two years ago. And on that morning this gospel-sharing-man had dressed up like a homeless person to teach his Sunday school students about sharing Christ with others.
Goodness, whenever we witness to someone, we need to remember that God’s Word never gets lost or left behind. For He can use a verse in a split second on the trail of life. On any day. Even two years later! And it’s always perfect timing!