Previously I posted about Jason, a homeless man living in his van whom a couple of brothers of the Anaheim church and I engaged in spiritual conversation and Bible study. A female acquaintance of Jason’s, who had walked up and listened in on the end of our conversation, was also mentioned. Her name was Laurie. When a break occurred in our conversation with Jason, we turned to Laurie and began speaking about God’s will with her.
Like Jason and his wife, Laurie also lives in a van. Conversation with Laurie centered around God’s willingness to forgive her and keep forgiving her, if she would continue in genuine repentance and humble obedience to His will. Laurie believed she had begun a saving relationship with God earlier in her life, though she questioned whether God could continue to forgive her for sins she continues to commit. We shared with her the assurance of 1 John 1:5-10 for all who have begun a saving relationship through Jesus Christ in baptism (Colossians 2:11,12). Upon mentioning baptism, Laurie said she had been baptized once, but not with the understanding with faith required in scripture, that she overheard us discussing with Jason (Romans 6:1-18; Mark 16:15,16). She then said that she believed she needed to be baptized again, this time biblically.
At this point Laurie was getting cold, as were some of us, and announced that she needed to go visit her son in jail. We were unable to encourage her further in considering her conversion at this point, because the thoughts of her son in jail got her very emotional. She was emotional during the whole conversation, but discussing her son in jail sent her off in an emotionally charged direction that we could not steered her back from. So much so, that one of our number got very uncomfortable and suggested several times that we just leave. We did not leave however, choosing to wait it out. In a final response to some of the things Laurie was saying, we suggested that she not be discouraged by thoughts of unworthiness. We encouraged her to embrace them and recognize the truth in them. That she like the rest of us are unworthy and pitiful. And that if we were not, we would not need a savior. We shared that the devil wants us to acknowledge our unworthiness and then to give up on life, but that God wants us to acknowledge it and then allow it to motivate us to seek worth and abundant life in Jesus (Romans 5:6-10 and 7:24,25).
Before leaving Laurie we asked if she’d like to pray with us and she accepted. We prayed together and suggested that we continue the conversation the next time we met. We also shared a phone number with her and encouraged her to call us for any reason. She expressed gratitude.
Though Laurie was homeless and distraught over many things, though her life was tough and circumstances drear, she was not hopeless. She was not a hopeless case, for there is hope for everyone in Jesus Christ (John 3:16,17). And she did not need to be left to wallow in her seemingly hopeless circumstances, for God has servants in this world given hope to share with others (1 Peter 2:9,10).
Are you willing to be a vessel of hope for others? Is the hope God gives you in Christ Jesus valuable and inspiring enough for you to share it with those around you? I hope so!
I pray God raise you up as His faithful worker and give you at least one soul to point toward Him today.
Keep thinking souls.