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Homeless – Until He Moved in With Jesus

homeless, Jesus, faith, praise, sharing, example, poor, poverty,

Re-posted with permission from Darrell Creswell’s blog: http://darrellcreswell.wordpress.com

Experts estimates that at any given time there are between 1 to 2.5 million people who are homeless in America.

Years ago, I traveled quite frequently and on this cold winter night in 1985, happened to be in downtown Chicago. I was staying in a hotel downtown and wanted to take a short walk before retiring for the evening. I stepped outside and saw a gentleman slowly walking toward me. He was a haggard soul, wearing a hat, walking with a cane and humming a gospel song that I recognized from my days as a young man at camp meeting in Texas. As he approached, I asked him how he was and he said “Blessed, I am blessed”. I asked him his name and he replied in the most curious way—he said to me, “I have no name, I have no face, I am but an ordinary man, but God put me here to spread love and cheer and I am doing the very best that I can. If we would but give our hand to our fellow man this world would be a much better place.” He then tipped his hat, pushed off with his cane and walked away with a smile on his face, humming that same song.  I stood there for a minute, trying to take in and absorb what this 70+ year-old man had just told me when I decided to catch up to him and give a few dollars to help him along his way.  I rumbled in my pocket and pulled out six or seven single bills and handed them to him, and he said to me, “the Lord thanks you”.  Again he tipped me his hat, put down his cane and walked off still smiling and humming that song.

I watched him as he walked along that frozen sidewalk on that cold, blistery winter night—stopping every time he saw another distressed individual on the street, and he would share with them some of the money I had just given him.  As I walked back up to the hotel, I asked the doorman who had witnessed my encounter, “do you know him?”—the doorman replied, “I know who he is, but don’t know his real name, we all call him Holy-Roller Sam”.  He said none know much about him, where he came from, or how he got here, but he walks around always smiling, humming that same song, saying the same thing to everyone he meets.  “ I have no name, I have no face, I am but an ordinary man, but God put me here to spread love and cheer and I am doing the very best that  I can. If we would but give our hand to our fellow man this world would be much a better place.”  The doorman went on to tell me that Holy-Roller Sam regularly shares with all the homeless who are most desperately in need of the funds people give him on the streets.  I went to bed that night, and could not get Holy-Roller Sam off of my mind.

The words he said to me kept echoing through my brain over and over—“I have no name, I have no face, I am but an ordinary man, but God put me here to spread love and cheer and I am doing the very best that I can.”  In this one instant, all that I thought I was and all that I thought I could be seemed to dim in comparison to who I knew he was in God’s eyes.  I wanted to know more about him, and so I decided to venture out that next night to see if I could find him, and talk to him.  For about an hour or so, I walked up and down the block hoping to see him—but no Holy-Roller Sam.

I saw the doorman and walked over to ask him if he had seen Holy-Roller Sam—it was then that the doorman told me that Sam had been struck by a driver and killed earlier in the day.  I stood there stunned for a moment, and I slowly walked back to my room—amazed by the tears that had welled up in my eyes.  To this day, I ask myself, if only I had shared with him more than a few bucks from the thousands I had in my wallet—if only I had of gotten him a room for a night or two . . . perhaps I could have changed the course of his demise.

Since my chance encounter with Holy-Roller Sam, I see the homeless in a different light—and I always will. We are a society overly obsessed with our looks, and I am just as guilty—or more than many—always wanting to look my best.  I used to be more so, always making sure that I looked absolutely perfect.  I paid special attention to my face, ensuring it was perfectly pampered . . . all until that fateful day when I met a man who said that he had no face—no face, no identity, no pretense, no vanity, no airs—only an ordinary man giving his hand to his fellow man from the crumbs he collected from strangers.  As I look in the mirror each day I see the wrinkles that have formed on my face over the years, and I remember the man—Holy-Roller Sam—who told me he had no face, and my concern turns to a smile, letting me know I’m okay with a few wrinkles.

That chance encounter with Holy-Roller Sam on that cold Chicago winter night forever affected my life for the better.  Holy-Roller Sam was homeless until he moved in with Jesus.

And by the way the song he was always humming is the song I shared in my last blog (Unworthy – God’s Love – He Made Me Worthy)– I find myself now even at this moment tearing as I write.

Unworthy, unworthy, a beggar; In bondage and alone

But He made me worthy and now by His grace,

His mercy has made me His own.

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Christian Olympians

Since our last post was so successful, it inspired this one.  I thought I would list a few Olympians who have shared their Christian faith.  This is not intended to be a full list so please feel free to add a comment, if you know others.  Thanks!

Gabby Douglas  Gabby Douglas, 2 Gold Medals, Gymnast

“I meditate on scripture” said Gabby Douglas to the reporter when asked about how she deals with the pressure and the nerves of being a gymnast on the biggest stage in the world

“I give all the glory to God. It’s kind of a win-win situation. The glory goes up to him and the blessings fall down on me.”

Allyson Felix Christian

 Allyson Felix, 3 Gold Medals, Track and Field (100 and 200 meters)

“It’s official…I’m going to London!! All glory to God! I’m so thankful for the love, support & encouragement,”

“My faith inspires me so much. It is the very reason that I run. I feel that my running is completely a gift from God and it is my responsibility to use it to glorify him. My faith also helps me not be consumed with winning, but to see the big picture and what life is really all about.”

David Boudia Christian

David Boudia, Gold Medal, Diving

“It’s all about glorifying God. I approach the practices and the competitions the same. I’m at peace when I’m doing those things and it’s for God and His glory.”

“Whatever happens at the end of this Olympic Games is completely out of my control, God is totally sovereign over everything.”  (This realization also helped him overcome depression)

 

 

 

William Reid Priddy Christian

 William Reid Priddy, Gold medal, Men’s Volleyball

“I believe that God is most glorified when I use the gifts He has given me to the best of my ability, whether I am on international TV or just training,”

Christians should be “to pursue greatness (no matter what you are doing) in the name of God and clinging to the strength He provides. Not with the end goal of winning – though it can be a goal and is part of the process – but rather to become more like God and glorify Him.”

Lauren Cheney Christian

Lauren Cheney, Gold Medal, Women’s Soccer

“We weren’t given these talents to be mediocre. Our God is great – He deserves greatness.”

(After losing the 2011 World Cup) “It was a rollercoaster ride, but it was neat to just see (God’s) hand on that (situation),” Heath said. “It’s more than just winning or losing. There are so many relationships that go deeper than that. He has a plan in it all. You have to trust that. Even though it’s not the ideal outcome—I mean, everybody wants to be winners—you have to trust that God has a greater plan for this even when you can’t see it.”

Jacob Wukie Christian

 Jacob Wukie, Silver medal, Archery

“I will be living my life for Christ, seeking to know Him more, and seeking to be used by Him to influence the lives of those around me so that they might know Him as well.”

 

 

Lolo Jones Lori (Lolo) Jones, 4th, Track and Field (100 meters)

“It’s just a gift (virginity) I want to give my husband. But please understand this journey has been hard. There are virgins out there and I want to let them know that it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life.”

“As I arrive in London for the Olympics, I’m overwhelmed with emotions. Thank you Lord for another chance and for holding me as I waited.”

 

Ryan hall Christian Ryan Hall, DNF – injury, Track and Field (Marathon)

God as his coach.

“I like to start off every morning by asking God how He sees me,”

 

 

 

 

 

James Nieto Christian

Jamie Nieto, 6th place, Track & Field (Men’s High Jump)

“Your only limitations are what you believe them to be, and as long as you put God first, you can achieve   all things through Him,”

“I need God in every aspect to help me move forward in my career and being here at the Olympics is a testament.”

 

And a few others:

Brady Ellison, Archer – “Here we go four years of sweat and blood and hard work to prepare for today. Thank you Lord for lettin me [be] here this week. Lets do it.”

Jesse Williams, track and Field (High jump) – “Praise the Lord Jesus Christ he is good!”

Marquise Goodwin, track and Field (Long jump) – “All this wouldn’t be possible without you! #God.”

Bryan Clay, track and Field (Decathalon) – “God first. Family second. Track third.”

Creative Commons License
Christian Olympians by Westchester Men’s Ministry is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at https://nymensministry.com/2012/08/13/christian-olympians/ .