23 September 2009

Meet Billy

I went out today and walked the streets of Indianapolis with my dog, Kali. She loves to go for walks while we are in Indy. While I was out walking I prayed for opportunities to be a blessing. Yesterday I had seen this homeless man sitting along a fence. I had a strong pull inside to stop and talk to him, but didn't. Today I told God that if I saw him again I would be obedient this time. I've said that a hundred times and maybe three times I have had a second chance. Today was a second chance day. As I walked down the street I was praying about who to reach out to. I asked God to show me who needed His love today. I turned the corner and guess who was there again today? Yup, it was the same man. I knew God had something for this man.

I walked over to him and introduced myself. I told him that I wanted to sit and just talk to him for awhile. I never realized until I saw the sparkle in his eyes how nice it is when we just stop and say hi. He introduced himself, his name is Billy. I asked if it was o.k. if I asked him a few questions and he graciously replied "yes you can." So here is how some of the conversation went.

Scott- So, are you from around here?
Billy- Ya, I grew up here.
Scott- So, do you live around here?
Billy- Ya... I live on the streets... I am homeless.
Scott- I don't mean to be nosey, but how did you end up on the streets? Was it a choice, or where you forced into the streets because of circumstances?
Billy- I lost my job, industry left and now I can't find work
Scott- How long have you been on the streets?
Billy- About two years, maybe more...ya, it's been two years.
Scott- Again, I don't want to pry, I just really want to help people, maybe you can help me better understand how to help. Do you ever go to Wheeler?
Billy- Ya, sometimes in the winter. I mostly just stay in the streets though.
Scott- If there was one thing someone could do for you, what would be the most important thing you need right now?
Billy- I just need a place to stay, someplace to sleep every night off the street. I also need money, if you could help me in that arena I would appreciate it.
Scott- I travel around the country and the one thing I think people need most is love. That is what I want to tell you today, that you are loved. Not just by me, but by God. He loves you so much and wants to help you. Because of that, I want to help you.
I don't have much, but what I have is yours.

At this point a smile came across Billy's face. I could see a genuine appreciation for what I was saying.

Billy- Thank you
Scott- Your welcome. Can I pray with you right now.
Billy- Yes, please!

There was much more to the conversation than this. I just wanted to give you a little look into how much you can give without giving the bank. I only gave him two dollars, not much, but it was all I had. Billy's response was "thank you, this is a cup of coffee later on." He said it with a smile and real appreciation.

I don't advise that people go around just giving money to homeless people. I know many times they are just looking to get their next fix, but I will say this, still give. Give food gift cards to fast food restaurants that can't be spent anywhere else or for anything else. Make sure there is easy access for them to the place you are giving the gift card for, otherwise, what kind of blessing is it really? Give gift cards to stores in the area like Walmart, Starbucks, etc. Give cash if you are led to. Don't be afraid to follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit on this one.
Most importantly give of your time, communicate and find out what people need. Listen to them and hear what they are saying. Nothing says "love" more than a listening ear. Whatever is on your heart to give, give it with all the love that Jesus has put in you.

Sure, Billy needed way more than two dollars and a fifteen minute conversation, but the fact is I gave out of what I had on hand at the moment. It says in Acts 3:6 "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you:..." Money isn't the only thing Billy needs, he knows that. I would be willing to bet that God is able to give him exactly what he needs, just be a willing vessel and God will fill the need every time.

I encourage you, go out and meet Billy. Not the same Billy that I met, but every town has a Billy. Every town has a guy or girl whose suffered a set back or two. I told Billy that I wanted my actions to speak louder than my words. I don't know if I succeeded today, but I do know that I gave it a shot. You never know unless you try.

The truth is, I can't give Billy much right now. In the future I would love to be able to give him, and others in his situation more. I would love to put Billy up in a nice hotel for a couple days, get him some new clothes and wash his old clothes. I would love to take him to a nice restaurant to eat an expensive, good meal. I would like to help him find a job and a permanent place to live. The truth is, without support from people like you, I can't give anything. I want people to see what it is that this ministry is doing, where our heart is, and how we can make a difference. I want people to buy into the vision, in a literal sense. We can make a difference, one person at a time, but we can't do it without you. Please prayerfully consider helping us financially, or in what ever capacity that you can. We have a list of needs in the right hand column. If there is anything you have on your heart to give to help, please contact us, the info is at the bottom of the page. Lives can be changed one at a time if we will work together to make it happen. Thank you for all that you do to help make this mission possible.

1 comment:

  1. This post brought tears to my eyes. We all are so busy that we just pass people like Billy on the street every day without giving them a second look or thought. The fact is that most people are just one paycheck for being put out on the streets themselves. You are right. We can definitely make a difference. one person at a time. This post has certainly opened my eyes.


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