By Marleny R
I really don't know how else to explain it. Have you ever experienced something so beautiful with the Lord that words cannot describe, yet you want to tell the whole world? Today was another one of those days. What I love about it, is that these moments are always so unexpected. I had to run home to write, because I can't afford to forget these gifts that the Lord provides of experiencing His love. I am officially wooed. So, I'll start from the beginning of how this morning played out.
I woke up this morning at 7am. Rested, but with a distracted mind. This is actually how I've been all week. Distracted and anxious in thought through different events..work, personal, etc. All self-centered, all self-consuming. I feel when I start to get spiritually dry..my Heart starts to cry out for the Lord.
I called out to Him this morning- asked Him to please rid me of myself. To blanket me with His love and to forgive me for my self-centerdness. To guide me, use me for His will. For my actions to reflect His image and not my own. My Heart cried out this morning and He responded.
I went to the Homeless Soup kitchen at 8:30, which I often go to on Saturdays. Today, However was a special day. I spoke to two people -- Ruben and Phillip. For today, I want to focus on my conversation with Phillip.
I met Phillip at the gates of the World Impact Center. Young, black man - mid 30s. I was standing with Pastor John when he approached us and asked us "So, why are ya'll here..? What is the purpose of all of this." He asked this, not in a rude way, but in a genuine way, as if he was trying to figure out what the catch was. Pastor John said "We are here to love on people." Phillips face seemed confused. He said, "Ive been to these things before. It's like a trick.. a trap. I almost gave my life to Christ once, and everything made sense, up until the point that they asked people to stand up and roll on the floor if they wanted to accept Christ into their hearts."
Sometime later, I happened to run into Phillip again. He was sitting on one of the benches. He asked me, "So, people come here for the free coffee and the breakfast, huh?" This is a good draw to get people to come. That's smart." Again, in an observant type of tone.
I smiled at him and told him.."People don't come here for the coffee" They come because of the relationships that are built here. For the healing that occurs. For the Love that is offered without strings attached. Unlike anything they have ever experienced. Unlike anything I have ever experienced.
You see, homeless people have a list of options to go to on Saturday mornings for food. There are different government, religious organizations that reach out to them on the weekends. More so, than during the week. This is when they get a chance to really get a good meal.
However, more and more people come to Solomon's Porch..not for the coffee or the food - but because they know there is something different about this place. Something is happening here. They cant put their finger on it - but they feel it.
I felt this. When I first walked into Solomon's Porch as a volunteer, I had no idea what to expect. I had no idea how my heart would be transformed and how much the Lord would use me to speak truth into these people's lives as long as I would allow Him to. I explained this to Phillip.
He began to tell me about his life. His hurts, his mistakes, his regrets, and his doubt in this concept of God. Everything he was saying I could completely connect with. I shared my story with him. He was so scared to let go and let God. He still is.
There are so many things that we touched on that I really cant believe it was all in one morning. I literally saw the Lord soften his heart. Tugging at his heart. Calling out to him. I see so much potential in Phillip. He is smart, introspective, and observes everything. He wants to understand everything.
He said "This is weird.. I came here for coffee, I never expected this." He told me that he didn't know what to do. Part of him wanted so bad to surrender his life to Christ, but then another side couldn't do it. He kept saying that he couldnt believe that people came out and did this for no reason at all, other than to show love to one another.
Phillip is my brother in Christ. He shared his heart with me today, and the Lord used me to speak to him about His magnificent love and healing power. I could see a change in Phillip. Thinking, processing. He told me he had a strong desire to one day be able to speak truth to others and share his story as I had shared mine. Through our stories we are able to share HIS story...what a beautiful connection this is. In the end, I feel Phillip was left with a desire to find this water of life - the place where the coffee never runs out.
I pray that Phillip goes about his week and sees God's love in the details of his life. I pray that his heart begins to soften and that he continues to ask questions, to seek.
I pray that he returns next week for another conversation.