Jim reaches out to a lost soul
By Doug Reed
Bad winter weather had moved in on the construction job that was to be Thorncrown Chapel. I decided to return to California. I arrived at the Fayetteville airport too late. It was iced in. After checking into a hotel, I sat in the lobby idly reading a paper.
I noticed coming through a side door one of the meanest, toughest, dirtiest drunkards that I had ever seen. He looked bad enough that the bad guys wouldn’t fool with him. He carried a can of beer as if to advertise his attitude. Without much wisdom, I decided to stop him. “Hey, where you going?” I asked. He wheeled around all his meanness and walked toward my chair. For whatever reason, he got down on both knees and reached both hands up and took hold of my chair arm. He looked up at me much like a child looking up at a father.
“You got something to say to me, son?”
“Would you like to die in the messed up drunk condition you are in?” I asked.
“HE-L-L-L-L-L-L-L-L yes,” he snapped back. I continued to quietly talk to him about other things in other ways, and soon I noticed tears start to trickle out of his eyes and run down to make little mud pies out of the dirt on his face. Through the wreckage of that dirty face, I could see a beautiful soul that God wanted to bloom and grow and be beautiful. God had never had a chance. After a time he got up and went out the door, disappearing into the night. I couldn’t forget him. Where is he tonight? Did anyone else ever reach out to him? Did he find his way?
Will you let me dream a little? Maybe, someday up in heaven I’ll face a bony finger poking me in the back. I’ll turn around and there will stand the baddest guy I ever met – smilin!
Father, give us the courage to reach out to the unreachable. They need us most. With your help, we know we can reach them. We ask in Jesus’ name.
James Reed was the founder of Thorncrown Chapel.