Pinterest A Grateful Life Lived: Robert

Monday, February 25, 2013


     While headed back from lunch at a recent ten event with my church, I met Robert.  He was sitting alone on a bench with an almost empty box of pizza and a smile.  A guy on our group asked him if there was anything we could pray for him about, and Robert lit up.  He said he loved that we were going out of our way to bless him.  He asked for prayer for his two sons and that they would always follow after the Lord.  Our group began praying for Robert and as we finished, he began to pray!  I say that with enthusiasm because I could sense the Lord's presence when this homeless man opened his mouth.  He was praying boldly, joyfully, and he was praying scripture.  Straight out of the KJ version, Robert was ministering to us.  He prayed for provision, blessing, joy.  He prayed for us.
     When we were finished praying, we began chatting with Robert.  At first, I felt badly-- like I shouldn't look at him in his rags and dirty appearance.  Then I realized that he didn't seem to notice.  Robert was so full of joy that I started to forget that he lived out on the street.  After we chatted for a while, this man looked straight into my eyes.  "Consider the lilies of the field," he said with a gesture to nearby flowers.  He then continued by speaking into me the very encouragement needed for what I'm going through.  He kept looking at me as he told us how God creates those birds and flowers to survive whatever life throws at them.  They are equipped and they are loved.  "How much more," he repeated with a smile, "does your heavenly father care for you?"  
     Far beyond a typical story of being blessed by someone I sought to bless, my encounter with Robert reminded me of the utter joy of Heaven.  A few years ago, I had a dream of Heaven.  It was so amazing, so joyful, that I began to cry when I woke up.  In my dream, chains were broken off of me-- even chains I didn't know existed.  They were strong paper chains, more undetectable than iron shackles, yet they were previously unbreakable.  Once they were broken, all joy was set loose.  My soul seemed to fly within that moment, and understandably  I was crushed when I woke up. 
     My point of retelling the dream, is to show you how similar that was to Robert's demeanor.  That man was more joyful then anyone I ever remember meeting.  It wasn't just his face either.  Although he was smiling ear to ear, Roberts joy came from the way he spoke, the peaceful way he just sat on that bench, and the bursting happiness when the scripture poured out of him.  
     I'm not sure if I'll see Robert again on this side of eternity.  Perhaps he was an angel, as Hebrews 13:2 speaks of "entertaining angels unaware."  I am not certain of any "angel test" that exists.  Perhaps we was a homeless man filled with the spirit of God.  However,  he wasn't "just" anything.  I doubt I will ever forget meeting Robert, because he renewed my amazement for God's goodness on earth.  Ya, it's a painful and broken world, but God is right here among us.  
    Right before I met Robert, I had been facing discouragement.  I wanted to see God, I wanted to be amazed again.  My dad and I prayed for God's mercy and joy to be revealed to me.  I stepped up on the curb, and there was Robert.  How can I not be grateful for divine appointments like that?  How can I not be amazed at the faith and joy of a man who lives out on the streets in the dead of winter?  And how can I forget that we are called to the same reckless abandon and utter joy-- we who have every technological and economical opportunity we can Google?  
     Thank you Lord for Robert.  Thank you for the way he moved my heart.  Thank you for holding my heart, and cherishing me so much that you would orchestrate that divine appointment.  For you care so much for the ravens and the lilies of the field, how much more do you care for me?!

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