So the Lord had convicted me Saturday night about my heart contempt for pan-handlers, because I have seen them turn down the food they say they long for, to get money instead, presumably for drugs and/or alcohol.
So I was thinking about this when I saw a man walking down the sidewalk northbound on 34th St., dragging his suitcase behind him. I was slowing down because I didn't feel a need to hurry to the red light awaiting me, and, as I passed him by, he seemed to hear the engine winding down and stuck out his thumb, like a hitchhiker. I scoffed and drove on, because I didn't want to be late for church.
But the Lord didn't care and told me to turn around and go pick him up.
I've lived long enough to know that, when the Lord speaks, it is always in my best interest to listen. (Yeah, I know, you atheists who inexplicably keep reading this blog don't believe that God speaks to Christians. Too bad.)
So I turned around and picked him up, letting him put his suitcase in my trunk without my supervision, because I was clearing the passenger seat for him (my bicycle was in the back seat, and there was nothing valuable to a thief in my trunk, anyway). So I asked him where he was going, and what had happened to him.
He said that he wanted to go to Clearwater (which is a few miles north) but that he wanted to go to a hospital. I didn't know where one was, but I told him that I was headed to Calvary Chapel (he had asked), and he said that that was okay, too. On the way, he bemoaned his failing relationship with his gf, saying that she had had two drug addicts beat him up (believable) and that the cops had done nothing about it. I asked if he and his gf had been drunk. Affirmative, and that explains the behavior of the cops.
"Why would she do this to me?"
"Um, she's a drunk! What did you expect?"
I lit into him about fornication and drunkenness, but he insisted that he was a good person. So, without preface, I took him through the Good Person Test, which he easily failed. But he still insisted that he was a good person.
About this time, we had arrived at the church, and he had some misgivings about attending in the attire he had worn. I told him that it wasn't a problem, because people do come in dressed like that every Sunday (one person in particular, but others, too). But he really just wanted to go to a hospital, so I got out to go find out where the nearest one was. Once I got that information, I drove him over there.
He continued to try to get me to symptahize with him, while I tried to get him to realize how he had put himself in this position by disobeying God. He lamented again about his gf, saying that he thought that she loved him. I told him that her willingness to fornicate with him exposed her heart, because people who join hands together to sin, do so out of selfishness. Knowing in what light this statement put him, he continued to object that he was a good person. Finally, I just told him straight up that Jesus Himself said that no one is good except God (Mark 10:17-21). He seemed to listen to that.
In the end, he thanked me as I dropped him off at the Hospital. I gave him Mark Cahill's One Heartbeat Away, and a gospel tract, because he said that he already had a Bible. He said that he would take the things that I had said to heart. He also said that I had saved his life, because he was ready to throw himself in front of one of the speeding cars on 34th St about the time I honked at him to get in.
Frankly, I was shocked, because I didn't think that anything I said was getting through. But the Lord knows how people are affected by our words, and I think that this is part of the reason that Jesus said, "I tell you that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof on the Day of Judgment. For by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned." (Matthew 12:36-37). May I evermore be prayed up instead of practiced up next time I deal with a drunk.