Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Lead On O King Eternal"1 (Lyrics)
Psalm 119:12 – Blessed art thou, O Lord: teach me thy statutes. (KJV)
Recently, while I was at a local restaurant, I kept feeling a nudge in my spirit to go to a clothing store when I finished eating. As I arrived there, I recognized a homeless man named Mike. We struck up a conversation.
"I can't give you money, but I'll be glad to buy you a meal." I pointed toward the restaurant.
"Can I get a hot dog? Or two?"
"Sure. Let's get you two hot dogs. And ice cream too."
"It's too cold fer that."
"I understand," I said, but then I wondered if I really understood the bone-chilling cold that Mike faced every winter.
As I stepped inside the restaurant, Mike hovered at the door.
"Please… come inside."
As is often the case, a homeless person is used to being shamed, so they will not enter a building.
Mike cautiously looked around.
The server was puzzled, "Back so soon?"
"My friend is hungry. Mike, tell the lady what you want."
"I wants a hot dog."
"Make that two, please."
Mike was modest with his order. To drink, he asked for a cup of water without ice. He didn't order fries because he said that he had chips in his backpack that were "not too old to eat." The entire order cost less than five dollars.
I recognized that this was God's heavenly assignment. I prayed for guidance. We talked about Mike's employment as a painter fifteen years prior. He couldn't get disability.
"Perhaps you can do something."
"That's what they says."
"I can't climb ladders no more."
"I care about you, Mike, so tell it to me straight. Do you want help with that?"
By this time, Mike's hot dogs had arrived, but he stayed put.
"Lotsa days, it's cold 'specially when the winds a-knockin' at ye collar like it was last night. If I takes to the bottle, I don't feel it as bad."
"You can have a new beginning…"
"Is ye talkin' bout Him? I likes Him, see?" Mike rolled up his sleeve to reveal a cross tattoo. "I walk past a church from where I sleep in the woods. I think 'bouts goin' in ta learn 'bout 'Him. But they won't want the likes of me." Mike glanced at his attire.
There it was again, rearing its ugly head — a creature named "shame" had browbeaten this gentle man once too often. I was ready to act.
The same Spirit who had nudged me to drop by a store was also prompting Mike to attend a certain church, and my guess was that a preacher was preparing a sermon just for Mike. God was converging forces in an attempt to rescue a man who had wandered for fifteen years.
"Mike, God loves you as much as the preacher. You are welcome there. So, this Sunday, even if you've been drinking, go inside."
I knew that Mike needed Jesus. I thought about this verse: "And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart." (Jeremiah 29:13 KJV)
I knew that Mike would answer my next question as candidly as he had answered the others.
"Will you go to that church this Sunday?"
"Can I pray with you?"
I felt the cold of Mike's skin and the slenderness of his fingers clinging to mine, as if holding my hands tightly would make his world straighten. As we prayed, I hoped that Mike would choose to hold as tightly to his Saviour's nail-scarred hands.
Prayer: Father God, help us to pay attention when Your Holy Spirit nudges us. Fill us with love and compassion for those whom You send our way. Help us to lead each of these individuals to Christ. Amen.
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Thanks for, Diane. Your story prompts me to listen more actively.
Wonderfully touching and inspiring! Thank you!
Diane, please make this a “serial devotion”, and let us know what happens with Mike.
Thank you for reminding me to be on the lookout for His people who are suffering. God bless you!!
Hi Diane, really liked this devotional. Very real and straightforward. Great lesson.
Thanks for sharing this devotional with us. Hot dogs slathered with mustard, relish, in a bun…yummy! Holy Spirit nudges, necessary and needed, for sure! Blessings.
What a beautiful story and how sweet your response. God bless you and I am praying Mike ended up at church and saved!!!
Thank you for a very powerful devotion, steeped in love and filled with the Holy Spirit. It would be nice to know the next chapter in Mike’s life.
Your devotional is a special one. Thank you.
Wouldn’t it be nice if all Christians would follow the lead of the Spirit, and also live the Gospel (Matthew 25).
Thank you, Diane! What a beautiful story and may we all be open each and every day to the nudges of the spirit, so that more people may know the power of Christ Jesus.
This is a touching and humbling devotion that will draw many of us in to reach out to others. You have “tendered” my heart. Thank you so very much.
Many blessings to you and your writing.
Thank you for writing and bringing to light the different ways the Lord “nudges” us to carry out His plans. Your attention to this fellow and encouraging him to seek the Lord was the perfect response to the Lord’s nudging.
Bless you for your generous heart toward the needy and for spreading God’s love.
May God bless you for your compassion to Mike and all the other Mikes in this world. I am elderly and cannot do a lot but God has moved me to knit continuously all year long, (scarves, hats, mittens, socks), and as the cold weather sets in I give them anonymously to the Mikes in this too often cold cruel world.
I say this to let others who are pushing 90 realize that they can still help others in need in spite of their own needs.
I hope and pray that you can encourage many people, especially those in churches, to be as gracious to the fatherless as you have been.
Keep up the good work for Jesus sake.
My prayer is that God will bless you for following His “nudge”, your kindness and compassion toward Mike and your non-judgmental, candid approach. I’ll be praying for you and for Mike.
Bless you for answering the Spirit’s nudge.
Too often we are ‘Too busy”‘ or “not sure” and miss something wonderful.
I read your devotional. It was sooo good. Thanks for sharing.
I would like to photocopy it and give it to some of my friends and there are so many homeless in our area.
May God bless you and give you many more nudges. Someday perhaps we can
all meet in Heaven.
Diane, what a powerful witness you have shared! Bless you!
Thanks for sharing how God nudged you and you responded. May each of us who read this devotional be more caring, compassionate and share His love in such tangible ways and ultimately share the message of the One who is Love and gives life!!
Blessings as you continue to respond to the nudging!