sat with two friends,
the picture window of a quaint restaurant
off the corner of the town square.
food and the company
both especially good that day.
drawn outside across the street.
walking into town ,
a man who appeared to be
all of his worldly goods on his back.
was carrying a well-worn sign that read :
will work for food. My Heart Sank.
brought him to the attention of my friends
noticed that others around us
stopped eating to focus on him.
moved in a mixture of sadness and disbelief.
continued with our meal,
his image lingered in my mind.
finished our meal and went our separate ways.
had errands to do and quickly set out to accomplish them.
glanced toward the town square,
somewhat half-heartedly for the strange visitor.
that seeing him again
call some response.
drove through town and saw nothing of him.
made some purchases at a store
got back in my car.
Spirit of God kept speaking to me:
back to the office
you've at least driven once more
with some hesitancy,
headed back into town.
I turned the square's third corner,
was standing on the steps
the store front church,
through his sack.
stopped and looked;
both compelled to speak to him,
wanting to drive on.
empty parking space on the corner
to be a sign from God:
invitation to park.
town's newest visitor.
for the pastor?" I asked.
really," he replied, "just resting."
you eaten today?"
I ate something early this morning."
you like to have lunch with me?"
you have some work I could do for you?"
work," I replied
commute here to work from the city,
would like to take you to lunch."
he replied with a smile.
he began to gather his things,
asked some surface questions.
St. Louis "
all over; mostly Florida ."
long you been walking?"
years," came the reply.
knew I had met someone unusual.
sat across from each other
the same restaurant I had left earlier.
face was weathered slightly beyond his 38 years.
eyes were dark yet clear,
he spoke with an eloquence
articulation that was startling.
removed his jacket
a bright red T-shirt that said,
is The Never Ending Story."
Daniel's story began to unfold.
had seen rough times early in life.
made some wrong choices
reaped the consequences.
backpacking across the country,
had stopped on the beach in Daytona.
tried to hire on with some men
were putting up a large tent
concert, he thought.
the tent would not house a concert
in those services
saw life more clearly.
gave his life over to God.
been the same since," he said,
felt the Lord telling me to keep walking,
so I did,
14 years now."
think of stopping?" I asked.
once in a while,
it seems to get the best of me.
has given me this calling.
give out Bibles .
what's in my sack.
work to buy food and Bibles,
I give them out when His Spirit leads."
homeless friend was not homeless.
was on a mission and lived this way by choice.
question burned inside for a moment
then I asked:
"What's it like?"
walk into a town
all your things on your back
show your sign?"
it was humiliating at first.
would stare and make comments.
a piece of half-eaten bread
made a gesture
certainly didn't make me feel welcome.
then it became humbling
that God was using me
touch lives and change people's concepts
folks like me."
concept was changing, too.
finished our dessert and gathered his things.
outside the door, he paused.
turned to me and said,
of my Father
inherit the kingdom
prepared for you.
when I was hungry
gave me food,
I was thirsty
gave me drink,
stranger and you took me in."
felt as if we were on holy ground.
you use another Bible?"
said he preferred a certain translation.
traveled well and was not too heavy.
was also his personal favorite.
read through it 14 times," he said.
not sure we've got one of those,
let's stop by our church and see"
was able to find my new friend
Bible that would do well,
he seemed very grateful.
are you headed from here?" I asked.
found this little map
this amusement park coupon."
you hoping to hire on there for awhile?"
I just figure I should go there.
star right there
that's where I'm going next."
the warmth of his spirit
the sincerity of his mission.
drove him back to the town-square
we'd met two hours earlier,
as we drove,
parked and unloaded his things.
you sign my autograph book?" he asked.
like to keep messages from folks I meet."
wrote in his little book
his commitment to his calling had touched my life.
encouraged him to stay strong.
I left him with a verse of scripture from Jeremiah,
know the plans I have for you,
to prosper you and not to harm you;
to give you a future and a hope."
man," he said.
know we just met and we're really just strangers,
I love you."
know," I said, "I love you, too."
Lord is good!"
long has it been
someone hugged you?" I asked.
long time," he replied
the busy street corner
the drizzling rain,
new friend and I embraced,
I felt deep inside
I had been changed.
put his things on his back,
his winning smile and said,
you in the New Jerusalem."
be there!" was my reply.
began his journey again.
his sign dangling from his bedroll
pack of Bibles.
stopped, turned and said,
you see something
makes you think of me,
you pray for me?"
that was the last I saw of him.
I left my office,
wind blew strong.
cold front had settled hard upon the town.
bundled up and hurried to my car.
I sat back and reached for the emergency brake,
of well-worn brown work gloves
laid over the length of the handle.
picked them up
thought of my friend
his hands would stay warm that night
I remembered his words:
you see something
makes you think of me,
you pray for me?"
gloves lie on my desk in my office.
help me to see the world
its people in a new way,
help me remember those two hours
my unique friend and to pray for his ministry.
you in the New Jerusalem," he said.
Daniel, I know I will...
shall pass this way but once.
good that I can
or any kindness that I can show,
me do it now,
I shall not pass this way again."
Contributed By : Darlene McMahan
Page Created : Pam Gallo
His Will Was Done