Yesterday I started out like I normally do. I had swapped work days with another girl so I could attend a cookie swap on Monday(soon to be another post). My little job is fun, I meet a lot of people and it has been a lot of fun to help folks this Christmas season.
Late yesterday a young man named Freddy came in the shop asking to use the phone. He had just been released from jail and needed a ride to get home. I found myself not being alarmed at all, but he needed to make a long distance call, so I did not feel I could let him use the business phone. A still small voice seemed to be saying, "but you have a cell phone w/ unlimited long distance" "this is an opportunity, so I let him use it. He needed to get back to the Atlanta area about 3 hours away, but we have no public transportation running from here to there. This brief encounter turned into almost 2 hours of trying to help him.
While trying to get him help, it was suggested to me that he might be scamming me, I should call the law and get him to move on, I shouldn't bother with him, etc., and I was unable to get anyone to help. I am sure now that God was all the while nudging me to help him.
The sheriffs department did come by, and verified that he was telling the truth. One of the officer had escorted him to his court hearing that day, but they asked him to move on, and he left without there being any solution to a way home for him. It had begun to rain when I got off work, but I still had concern for him. You see except for the grace of God, that young man could be my son.
I went home and continued to think about the young man. My husband was working, but knew what was happening and continued to check in on me. A few minutes later I realized my cell phone had all of the numbers that he had called, so I began calling, and ended up talking with his mother. She was concerned, and still had not been able to get him a way home, but knew that he was headed to Wal-Mart. I let her know that I would try to find him, get him some dinner and go from there.
I knew that I could try to find him, buy him a meal at McDonalds(inside Wal-Mart) and see if I could share the love of Jesus with him. As I was pulling into the parking lot, my cell was ringing and it was him. He said his mother had told him that I was looking for him, and he would wait at McDonalds for me. (an employee had let him use his cell phone).
I purchased his meal, and sat down with a drink and talked with him while he ate. By the time I had gotten there, he had been able to get in touch with his brother-in-law, who would be picking him up.
We talked, and from what I could tell, he professed to know the Lord, and knew that we are sinners saved by Jesus' death on the cross. I encouraged him to seek after the Lord, and that I would be praying for him.
At the end of the conversation before I left, he said that he never got my name, and I said Jackie, to which he replied, "that's my Mama's name." Right there, I knew that this encounter was God ordained. I spoke with his mother this morning and he made it home safely.
I in no way want to share this to pat myself on the back, but to encourage you to slow down and listen to the still small voice that may be speaking to you. What better way to spend this Christmas season sharing the love of Jesus in a most unexpected way.
Have a blessed remainder of the week.