Last Sunday, January 25th 2015, I met a Muslim man who was very interested to talk with me on the message I was promoting and preaching: Jesus Christ is the Son of Almighty G-d. We spent much time on how Islam and Christianity differ from each other. I showed him several key verses in the Bible to share with him what the Bible says about those who deny that Jesus Christ came in flesh. When the evening came, when the street lights went on, a homeless man came nearby me and asked me with tears on his face, "Sire, can you read me Psalm 23?" "I love to read to you. It is one of my favorite Psalms." I said goodbye to the Muslim friend and to read the Psalm 23 to the suffering man. As this Psalm was read at various occasions in people's life when a relative passed away or some tragedy occurred on someone. When I saw his streaming tears on his rigged face, I knew that he was suffering some intense pain.
"The Lord is my Shepard, I shall not be in want. he makes lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. he guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though i walk through the valley of the shadow of death, i will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies,. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. "
He was fixing his eyes on me when I was reading to him as if these words are all what he wanted. I tried to get know a little bit more about him in order to know how to comfort him. I asked gently, "my friend, Did you go to church before?" I met many homeless people on the street, many of them told me that they believed in G-d and have been lost in this world. I wondered whether he attended the Church when he was young as he specifically asked for the Psalm 23 when he felt such intense pain inside of him. He was the man full of pain and suffering whom I met on the street. Many of them cared not about others or life in such intensity. He said to me, "Did you see my tears on my face? I could not talk." I knew that I asked a wrong question and felt sorrow about his pain too. Then he turned his face to the other side to cry without a sound. when I saw his tears running down from his cheek, I wanted to comfort him but knew not how. I noticed his thin backpack, I thought that he might need some help for his living. I asked in a small voice contrary to my normal preaching voice, "Do you need some change?"
He answered yes and turned to me with an expectation of a few coins. I carried only a bill of five dollars. I took it out and gave to him. Out of his expectation, he felt that a kind of love that I gave him and said thank you several times. I could hardly hold my tears and ran away. I did not know why his pain entered my heart but I knew that G-d cared him at that moment. He saw a broken human soul. He felt the pain of a suffering man. He cared about every repenting soul when they cry to Him.
when I was on the way back home, my soul was deeply shaken by this encounter. comparing the time and effort I spent with that young Muslim man, a few minutes with this lost homeless old man gave me much touching and interaction. One thing that connected us as I knew was the trust and the hope of His Word.
I could not help him more as I should have. I repented to G-d as sometime when I had a large bill, I could not just give to those who are in need on the street. Although I had various reasons not to give them for smoking or other improper usage, if i had that day, i would have given him all I have if it could comfort him in some way. then, I remember a verse in Bible, "a wine to the bitter soul." (Psalm 31:6) and prayed for him that he might find a drink that night that might help him to forget all the pains and sorrows he had.
Why such encounter impressed me so much? I believed that it was his hope and desire of G-d's words to comfort him when he was in such a despair and pain. G-d allowed him to enter my life to show me that how much he cared for human beings when they repented and returned to him. Many people rely on many things but not G-d who created them, even on their death bed. But this homeless old man knew the evil of this world and contained not his pain in his life and cried out to the Lord for his comfort. His faith and hope in the Lord might well had pleased the Lord well. Praises be to the Lord as His words are powerful and hopeful. May he give him a just reward on that Day. Amen.
Called to serve, Called to stand, called to testify the Truth.