Wednesday, September 28, 2016

meet James

If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person?

Meet James.

I was sitting at my desk on a Saturday morning which unusual when the phone rang, and if you know me, I cannot just let the phone ring and not answer it.  So I answered.

On the other end of the phone was a man in need.  He simply asked for food and had been told that our church might help him with a place to stay.  He was right.  So was the person who encouraged him to call, but remember I was at my desk for a purpose.  I had a wedding in just a few hours.

With the desire to help but having very little time I called a friend who shared my heart for meeting needs, and she convinced me that we were going to help this man.  That’s when we met James.

For the next couple weeks we began to get to know our new friend as well as put him in a safe place.  The story goes way beyond those first few weeks and even until now.  We spent time together talking about God and about our families.  He had been a supervisor in local furniture factories.  Over the years and through the economic downturn things didn’t go well for James, and it had gotten so tough that he was now homeless and had lost about everything.

Things and life started looking up for James as a family in our church began to help him.  James went to work at Nationwide Homes and has been there since.  He has had some health problems and struggles along the way.

In fact at some point James began to be angry toward the church, me and to others.  He pulled away and would not talk to us at all.  During that time he had a stroke, and when I visited James in the hospital, he could not or would not talk to me.

What make me smile one day a few months ago was when I got a call from James, and he began to come back to church.  He has been there almost every Sunday since.  We would speak for a few seconds, shake hands and he would even smile.

Tuesday morning I got a call that I did not expect.  One of his co-workers, a mutual friend, called to let me know that James had passed away the night before.  He had collapsed at work and was taken to the hospital after being resuscitated.  Monday night his daughter was able to visit with him, but not long after James passed away.

I look back on the time we have known each other, and what I step back and see is that we as a church and as friends were doing what God called us to do.  We are to serve those in need and to share His love.  With James that is what we did, and that is what we will continue to do.

Please pray for James’ family and pray for others who have needs and who we can share God’s love with.

The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.

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