I've seen him often in Panera Bread. He usually sits by himself, drinking coffee, not doing much else, not even speaking to many people. This time I saw him outside Panera as I came in. I was wondering why the Lord had me go to the early service at church and just leave. Then I found out that he was waiting for the bus and, when I sat down with him, I only had fifteen minutes.
During those fifteen minutes, Tony and I talked about his life, his past, his present, and his eternal future. Actually, he wasn't too keen to talk about the latter. He did say that he has read the Bible six times--and he was using the KJV and a dictionary. But, for some reason, he isn't following Christ. Either I didn't get the time to find out why, or he didn't want to say.
So how do the homeless survive in the record cold temperatures here in Florida? Churches open their doors to them--but they don't take the opportunity to preach to them. "You would think they would," he said. The churches that do preach to the homeless won't come out in the cold to do it. Few will actually go to Tent City, and most churches that have an outreach to the homeless only preach inside a shelter, especially this time of year.
I suppose that's prudent, for the health of those who are going, but it does burden me to do more.
Scott Rodriguez of Calvary Chapel St Pete has been leading an evangelistic outreach in downtown Clearwater on Monday nights for the past several months (I think it's about six, by now). Anyone who lives up that way should shoot him an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you'd like to be a part of that.
I didn't get very far with Tony, but I don't feel a heavy burden about that, in part because I did what I could, and in part because he's already read the Bible several times and even taken the time to get a dictionary to understand what was being said. But I am praying for him. I do pray that he begins to follow the Lord shortly.
Because eternity is a long time to be dead in your sins.