As we prepare to celebrate and remember the lives of our Veteran’s tomorrow (both fallen and living), I think of an image of a strong soldier who gave their lives away to defend our country and give us freedom. Someone who has returned (no matter how many years ago) and now has the good life of recognition and satisfaction from their service. OK, that’s a pretty common picture we have in our heads, but let us not forget those that served that don’t fit that profile. What about the alcoholic who now sleeps on the streets of Toronto? Or the prostitute who makes her living selling herself to survive and pay her bills? Or the man in Chicago, Detroit, or Tampa who sleeps anywhere he can find a place to lay his head? These are all images of our Veteran’s…our Hero’s who gave themselves to protect us. They are humiliated, spat on, deprived, shunned, hungry, impoverished, and largely ignored. Maybe next time you see a homeless addict you might remember that many of them sacrificed themselves for you and me?
Today was an exciting day for me…a monumental day if you will! I have known Mike and Marsha for approximately 4 years…and today was the day that something exciting happened. Mike is an addict and drug dealer who loves Marsha, an addict who prostitutes herself to pay for their habits. Experiences of health issues, family death, abusive relationships, serious accidents/injuries, landed them in despair and in the streets of Flint fighting for their lives. No place to live, they “hustle” just to make enough money to get something to eat. With no health/dental care, their gums bleed and their bodies are filled with sores. With no roof over their head, their bodies smell and they long for a simple shower. They live from minute to minute and try to avoid human contact because of the judgement that comes from others who believe they can “help themselves.” As I met with them today over a meal at a local deli, God orchestrated something special (a Christian reporter, a Christian shelter counselor, and a Christian Men’s Shelter Director). After being told for 4 years (even by well meaning Christian people) that I should not “associate” with such people, I saw the hand of God work! Mike and Marsha will enter into a drug rehab program this weekend and will be transferred into a shelter for transitional living and professional development programs. Only God could do this! This is a long shot and both are in need of a miracle to make it through this journey. I am reminded that when God enters our lives and we have hit rock bottom, that we are eligible for His greatest blessings…in the form of a miracle! I’m not sure where our love should begin and end, but I am reminded that we’re not here for ourselves. I gave them a drive…I had to clean my truck. I spent an afternoon with them and it cost me a dinner and some toiletries. Such a small cost when compared to what God has done for us through His son on the cross. SO….where’s your sacrifice? Don’t miss the opportunity to invest in someone today…it’s the best return on your time and effort than anything else you can do! Not even a government shutdown can “crash the market” of human investments! By the way, the book that Marsha is holding in her hand is Crazy Love by Francis Chan. She is searching for how God can really love her?