What do you want from me?
She came forward for prayer at the end of our Tuesday Night Live service in the mission chapel. Her clothes were tattered and mismatched. I reached out to take her hand and her hands were rough and chapped. When I leaned in there was an odor of homelessness.
She told me her name was Claudia. I looked into her tired eyes and asked, “Claudia, What do you want from God?” As she started to respond I pulled over a young high school student who was there that week to serve. I sensed that what Claudia was about to say would be important for her to hear and experience.
Claudia began to share that she has spent the last ten years on the street living without a place to call home but all the while making the best of it by living each day for Jesus. She said in her poverty she has continued to serve her God and promote his good will for others.
Claudia’s voice almost sounded apologetic when she added… “But I’m old and tired. I don’t think I can do this much longer. What I want from Jesus is shelter, a place, any place to call home… and I promise to continue to serve him by serving the needy.”
I felt a tear falling on my arm, not from Claudia’s eye, or my own, but from the young high school student listening in on the prayer. Claudia’s simple request was now not only ministering to me but also this young lady who was staying at the mission. She had a home to go back to and now she had a better appreciation for it.
Last Tuesday we attempted to serve Claudia by praying to God to answer her prayer but in a much greater sense… Claudia, in her homeless condition, was serving God in ministering to us out of her poverty.
May we all feel the compassion this young student felt for such a basic human need unmet for Claudia and so many, many more on skid row. Please pray for my friend Claudia. Please pray for housing solutions in the inner city. How is it that Los Angeles is the richest city in the nation but also the city with the highest per capita homeless population?
– Pastor Dan