Huge downpour today. All day. Instead of going out to the streets like Tuesday, we went to the local mall to hand out the lunches. It seemed to be a great idea, where else would all the homeless people be when it’s cold and wet outside?
But the whole plan turned out to be a huge failure, nobody was there and everyone seemed to second guess our decision to brave the storm and come here. We stood outside in the rain ready to go back to Hana Mission, as we held on to our bagged lunches that we failed to give out,
But just as we were about to leave, Christy noticed this man across the street swaying side to side, unable to walk straight as if he were heavily intoxicated. Christy ran across the street as he attempted to cross from the other side even though cars were passing. After she safely walked him across the street, Christy started conversing with him. I didn’t think much of it at first, because honestly I was tired and just wanted to get away from the rain. But I saw him cry after Christy prayed for him and something moved in me to really witness to this man. The opportunity was there because he was still barely holding on to his balance.
Christy and I took him inside the mall, got him a cup of coffee as we sat down to talk to this man. He opened up his life to us as he lifted his hat to look into our eyes.
His name was David Roman Valez. He spoke Spanish, but he was fluent in English as well. He moved here recently from Chicago, about 4 weeks ago. He is the leader of his family, having 3 younger sisters and a family of his own. He is homeless and is currently looking for jobs to come through. As for why he was drunk at 2 in the afternoon, I don’t know. If anything, the Spirit used the alcohol for David to open up to us more honestly.
He said he was sad. He wants to be able to provide and care for his loved ones but his circumstances don’t allow him to. As he poured out his tears, he said he’s been trying so hard, doing everything he can. He said he was mad at himself and at God… He used to go to church and even do service work, but as life took its bad turns it also turned him away from God. He felt as if God didn’t want to listen to him. In his own words: “Whenever I needed Him, God was not there!”
This was so painful to hear… I stood back as Christy tried to console him, but I was compelled to read him some truth from the scriptures. As I held back my tears, I read Romans 8 and Paul’s description of the unconditional love of God. I read him Revelations 21 where it describes a time when God will wipe every tear from our eyes… I read him Job 1 and how God allowed Satan to take things away from Job because He was after Job’s heart.
I told him that God is after his heart and that God just wants him to trust Him.
I told him that God sees all the pain that he goes through and that He cries alongside him.
I told him that our hope is not in the material blessings of this world, but an eternity of joy in the next.
I told him to keep on praying. To wait on the Lord.
I told him that even when he lets go of God that God will never let go of him.
I admit, there were some rough patches during the conversation, but the Spirit definitely pulled through. After we prayed for him, you could notice the difference in his eyes.
He pointed outside the window and told us that he is ready to take on the storm. I smiled as we said our goodbyes. I told him about Hana Mission, but he didn’t have an email. I guess the rest is really up to God.
I have faith, though. David was the perfect example of the “honest, broken and contrite heart” that Jesus looks for. It is for people like David that Christ left His heavenly status to take on the cross to demonstrate love.