Friday, June 22, 2007


Jesus went where the people were. We don’t picture him giving some scholarly lecture in a large massive cathedral. We love the fact that he was available to ordinary people. In 1990 when my wife and I decided to stop pastoring we started something we called “Christian Ministries.” Our goal was to create full color booklets on a variety of helpful topics, and record Maggie singing comforting songs on a CD. We decided to give them away and trust God to supply our needs.’

It’s been an amazing and wonderful 18 years of talking to people everywhere, praying with them and giving them helpful booklets and a CD. It’s been absolutely astonishing how we meet and help needy people.

A few days ago we drove home from Ohio to Conyers Georgia. We stopped at a rest area in West Virginia and Maggie saw a lady weeping. Maggie simply asked her what was wrong. The lady, still crying, said her husband had lost his job in South Carolina and they thought about moving to Ohio to be near her mother. She knew her father had never wanted her but while she was in Ohio her mother told her that she had never wanted her either. She was heart broken and felt so unloved.

Maggie prayed for her, and brought the lady and her husband outside to talk to me. After hearing her story I went to the car, got a CD of Maggie’s called “Songs for troubled hearts” and several full color booklets to give to her. One was called “Disappointment” and the other was called “When Life is not fair.” They thanked us over and over again outside the welcome center, and soon we were on our way again.

Many hours later we found a truck stop in South Carolina and after a break Maggie was in the car. A police Lieutenant was walking in as I was walking out. He spoke to me, and I knew instantly he needed help. We shook hands and I told him that years ago I was a Chaplin for the officers in a large 350-man police force. He started talking to me about his job.

When I ask him: “What is the hardest part of your job” a lot of hurt poured out. He said: “I watched a young teenaged boy breathe his last breath recently. A few days later I saw a black man’s car split in two and watched him die. What really hurts is that an old man called me over, and said “officer, can you help me.” His wife had aggressive Alzheimer’s disease, and slapped him around, and was very mean and nasty. He was tired of being abused.

The Lieutenant was on the verge of tears as he said: “All I could do was give him a phone number for social services. They would come take her to a nursing home”.

A few days later he got a code 28 on his police radio which meant a suicide. When they gave him the address he was sick at heart as he pulled into the driveway of the old man’s house. The man who asked for help had put a shotgun in his mouth and blew the back of his head away.

I immediately assured him that he did his best and I probably couldn’t have done it any better. When I first moved to Atlanta I had the same kind of experience. A family asked me to talk to their brother who was a policeman. They didn’t give me any details. I made an appointment to see him on Sunday and he killed himself on Saturday night.

After spending a lot of time with him I took this Lieutenant who had a wife and two small children around to the back of my car. I gave him a CD and several booklets and told him to call me or contact me if I could do anything more for him. He told us his mother had breast cancer. Then with people coming and going all around us we prayed together in front of the open trunk with arms around each other. On the verge of tears he thanks us both for praying with him.

Just happened? Coincidence? Absolutely not. God placed us all together at the exact right time and place. Could it be that we all need to live our Christian life outside the church where the needy people are?