Mike volunteers in the kitchen and dining room 5 days a week. He shows up at 5:45 AM and by 1PM often finishes up by clearing my lunch dishes with a smile. He serves cheerfully and faithfully. I see him 5 days a week. Yesterday I got to know him better and realized he is a trophy of grace.
But when he first came to the Mission homeless, about 2 years ago he says, “I was a mess. I had relapsed, had chest pains, high blood pressure, and did not know God.” As Mike shared some of his journey I learned at one time he was an entrepreneur – he owned a hot dog cart – but addiction led to loss… not only his business but his family. He’s been in prison twice. No insurance. And coronary heart disease.
That led to the reason for our conversation. I asked, “How did the Free Clinic make a difference to you?”
At the Mission’s Free Clinic, Mike said he got help right away, blood pressure meds, nitroglycerin and aspirin.
He was glad to relate how Sarah, our Nurse Practitioner set up appointments with specialists for him, got his records, how she suggested he quit smoking, have a better diet and exercise. How she prayed with him at every visit, and after he had a stint she checked his wounds. Mike said, “I never thought I’d live to be this age (68) after all the stuff I’ve done.” But there was more to his story.
Mike leaned forward across my desk and said, “When I joined the New Life program I found out I had been a sinner my whole life without knowing it. Now I understand that Jesus gave His life for me. And I know it’s the truth. If I were to die right now I’d be in heaven. ”
I was reminded again that God is seeking and saving the lost, that he redeems forgotten and broken souls, cares for both body and soul, and shines through those, like Mike, who trust in Jesus.
Mike’s parting words revealed his conviction, “You know it’s about having faith.”
I thought of Mike’s words when I read Hebrews 4:14 this morning, “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.”
So, with Mike, let us have faith in Christ’s work on the cross, his resurrection, and his life at the right hand of God. And let us approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Heb. 4:16)
Director of Development