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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


Daily Boost

Sept. 28, 2010 - My Day With Tommy

By John W. Kennedy

Homeless people attend the same church I attend, but I don’t interact with them much. Part of it is I don’t know what to say. Part of it is cowardice.

A recent Sunday widened my view a bit. After the service as I drove home with my wife, I saw Tommy walking down an alley. Tommy has been attending the church off and on for the past couple of years when he isn’t living on the streets of some other city. I had greeted him in church that day, noting that he had just returned to Springfield after living elsewhere for several months.

As I rolled down the car window, I did what any well-off churchgoer would do to someone less fortunate: a perfunctory offer of a ride with the expectation that Tommy would say no. After all it was perfect weather, and Tommy probably was headed to some nearby shady spot.

“Sure,” Tommy responded. Turned out he was headed miles away with his heavy backpack, and he would appreciate a lift. So we threw his worldly possessions in the trunk and drove off. As we neared his destination — a discount store parking lot — I felt the Lord telling me to invite him to lunch. I checked with my wife, who had been off work all week after surgery five days earlier. Of course she consented.

“Want to come to our house for lunch?” I asked Tommy.

“That would be nice,” he replied.

As we pulled in the driveway, Tommy asked if he might use a garden hose to get clean. My heart ached. I insisted he use our shower.

I defrosted some chicken, lamb and fish to grill. My son whipped up some biscuits. We made a fruit salad.

Tommy busted my stereotypes that afternoon. He is a great conversationalist and a sociable guy. We spent five hours talking about his life’s ups and downs. While I felt embarrassed for not getting to know Tommy better earlier, I kept wondering why he lives like this. Tommy, now almost 50, had served in the military. Where did it go wrong?

I offered to let Tommy spend the night in our home, but he said he needed to be at a charity by 6 on Monday morning that would provide needed medication. So I drove Tommy back to the discount retailer’s parking lot, where he found a tree to camp under. He expressed gratitude for the hospitality and food, and accepted a few bucks for bus fare and whatever else he might need for the next day or two.

“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me’” (Matthew 25:40, NIV).

— John W. Kennedy is news editor of the Pentecostal Evangel.



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