Sorry, it has been absolutely pouring rain lately, and I just don't have money to replace the laptop that I must carry to and from either Panera Bread (where I am today) or Dunkin Donuts in order to get Internet access. So I am waaaaay behind on updates, but some are definitely worth the wait.
First, my neighbor Dave. Dave told me a few weeks ago that he had quit drinking and drugs cold-turkey, and he certainly looked like it. He was going through all kinds of withdrawal symptoms, his mom was bringing him Gatorade to keep him hydrated, and his face was much, much clearer.
However, that didn't last long. One night, I awoke to hear him rejoicing with a friend that this beverage was "9% alcohol!" and claiming that it took quite a bit to get him drunk. Eventually, I arose and challenged him about it. This is the time that I told him, in front of his friend, that his friend was no friend at all, but a jerk for leading him back to alcohol.
He has continued since then to go down hill, his mother exploding one day that she was doing everything she could for him, but he wasn't doing his part! (Well, duh.) She, being motherly, does not have the heart to cut him off, while I keep trying to tell him that he needs to take responsibility for his own life, stop expecting his mom to bail him out of everything he gets into, and get a job.
I didn't give him that speech Tuesday night (more like Wednesday morning at 1:56 AM) when I awoke to him and his buddy laughing their drunk heads off. I just knocked on the door.
"David, somebody's at the door!"
"Who is it?"
"It's Joshua," I said.
"Good morning!" I greeted him sarcastically.
"Are we too loud?" I nodded. "Sorry, dude." And I went home and fervently prayed for him. I probably should be doing that more often anyway, but this was a very clear signal.
So yesterday his phone got cut off, for some reason, so he came over and asked if he could borrow my phone to call his mom. She told him that she had definitely paid the bill and that he should double check. He was extremely rude to her, but she told him she would call Verizon for him. He called a friend to ask him to give another friend a ride home, and then left.
Well, apparently, his mom did call Verizon, and they were supposed to come out, but they didn't, because he was back over again today, asking once again to use the phone to call his mom. You know what? He was rude to her again! This time he was leaving a message because she didn't answer, but I had had enough. "Dave, you need to show some respect to your mom, bro."
"Oh, I was respectful," he claimed.
Are you serious? I thought. "'You need to get them over here RIGHT NOW!' is not very respectful at all." (That was how he had ended the call.)
He didn't respond.
He ended up calling Verizon himself, because he could not get ahold of his mom. They told him that a technician would come today, and that his bill was indeed paid, and that he just needed to wait at home all day for them. He didn't like that answer, but oh well.
He came back over later trying to call his mom again, but she didn't answer, so he called his dad; but he didn't answer, either. He thanked me for letting him use my phone. And then he proceeded to profusely praise me for being such a great friend to him, hugging me, telling me what a cool black guy I am (all his previous black friends have been drug addicts, including some people who jumped him in a 5-to-1 beat down that he has scars to remind him about) and how I've always been there when he needed me.
I was frustrated. When will he ever repent? This is all great that he thinks I'm cool, but what about his soul? Sometimes I think that the Lord gets sick of me, but I think He could understand this gripe. But He was urging me to be patient. My boss at my evening job told me the other day that it could be 15-20 years, but there would be fruit. I hate those numbers, but I have to realize the grip that Satan has on those who follow him. God doesn't force it off. People have to be convinced to ask for Him to remove it.
So while I was typing this up today, his friend Steve called me. I didn't know that it was his friend. I didn't recognize the number, so I guessed that it was someone who I had tried to sell business cards to. He thought that I was someone trying to purchase his Honda Civic (Ha!). I tried another angle to identify this guy: "Well, I am a Christian who loves to talk to people about Jesus, so [maybe we met that way]."
"Oh, I love Jesus, man."
"Cool, man. What church do you go to?"
"Because everytime I've gone, all the people were fake."
So I asked him how he expected anyone in church to be "real" if he refused to be there. He admitted that I had a point. He asked what church I go to, and when I told him, he realized that I am David's neighbor, and told me that he was David's friend, the one that he had called from my phone because his phone wasn't working. So then I asked him how much he read the Bible. Not much. (Not surprising.)
"But I believe in Jesus."
"Well, if you're not going to follow Jesus, it does you no good to believe in Him."
He made some excuses, tried to say that he was serious about Jesus, but I challenged him, "How can you be serious about following Jesus when you don't read His Word?"
"Good point." He said he might come up to Calvary sometime. Though not the 9 AM service, lol.