24 February, 2010

Daniel's Gloves

* copied from a friend's email*
I sat, with two friends, in the picture window of a
quaint restaurant just off the corner of the town-square.
The food and the company were both especially good that day.

As we talked, my attention was drawn outside, across
the street. There, walking into town, was a man who appeared
to be carrying all his worldly goods on his back. He was
carrying, a well-worn sign that read, 'I will work for
food.' My heart sank.

I brought him to the attention of my friends and
noticed that others around us had stopped eating to focus on
him. Heads moved in a mixture of sadness and disbelief.

We continued with our meal, but his image lingered in
my mind. We finished our meal and went our separate ways. I
had errands to do and quickly set out to accomplish them. I
glanced toward the town square, looking somewhat
halfheartedly for the strange visitor. I was fearful,
knowing that seeing him again would call some response. I
drove through town and saw nothing of him. I made some
purchases at a store and got back in my car.

Deep within me, the Spirit of God kept speaking to me:
'Don't go back to the office until you've at least driven
once more around the square.'

Then with some hesitancy, I headed back into town. As I
turned the square's third corner, I saw him. He was standing
on the steps of the store front church, going through his sack.

I stopped and looked; feeling both compelled to speak
to him, yet wanting to drive on. The empty parking space on
the corner seemed to be a sign from God: an invitation to
park. I pulled in, got out and approached the town's newest

'Looking for the pastor?' I asked.

'Not really,' he replied, 'just resting.'

'Have you eaten today?'

'Oh, I ate something early this morning.'

'Would you like to have lunch with me?'

'Do you have some work I could do for you?'

'No work,' I replied 'I commute here to work from the
city, but I would like to take you to lunch.'

'Sure,' he replied with a smile.

As he began to gather his things, I asked some surface
questions. Where you headed?'

' St. Louis '

'Where you from?'

'Oh, all over; mostly Florida ..'

'How long you been walking?'

'Fourteen years,' came the reply.

I knew I had met someone unusual. We sat across from
each other in the same restaurant I had left earlier. His
face was weathered slightly beyond his 38 years. His eyes
were dark yet clear, and he spoke with an eloquence and
articulation that was startling. He removed his jacket to
reveal a bright red T-shirt that said, 'Jesus is The Never
Ending Story.'

Then Daniel's story began to unfold. He had seen rough
times early in life. He'd made some wrong choices and reaped
the consequences.. Fourteen years earlier, while backpacking
across the country, he had stopped on the beach in Daytona.
He tried to hire on with some men who were putting up a
large tent and some equipment. A concert, he thought.

He was hired, but the tent would not house a concert but
revival services, and in those services he saw life more
clearly. He gave his life over to God

'Nothing's been the same since,' he said, 'I felt the
Lord telling me to keep walking, and so I did, some 14 years

'Ever think of stopping?' I asked.

'Oh, once in a while, when it seems to get the best of
me But God has given me this calling. I give out Bibles
That's what's in my sack. I work to buy food and Bibles, and
I give them out when His Spirit leads.'

I sat amazed. My homeless friend was not homeless. He
was on a mission and lived this way by choice. The question
burned inside for a moment and then I asked: 'What's it like?'


'To walk into a town carrying all your things on your
back and to show your sign?'

'Oh, it was humiliating at first. People would stare and
make comments. Once someone tossed a piece of half-eaten
bread and made a gesture that certainly didn't make me feel
welcome. But then it became humbling to realize that God was
using me to touch lives and change people's concepts of
other folks like me.'

My concept was changing, too. We finished our dessert
and gathered his things. Just outside the door, he paused He
turned to me and said, 'Come Ye blessed of my Father and
inherit the kingdom I've prepared for you. For when I was
hungry you gave me food, when I was thirsty you gave me
drink, a stranger and you took me in.'

I felt as if we were on holy ground. 'Could you use
another Bible?' I asked.

He said he preferred a certain translation. It traveled
well and was not too heavy. It was also his personal
favorite.. 'I've read through it 14 times,' he said.

'I'm not sure we've got one of those, but let's stop by
our church and see' I was able to find my new friend a Bible
that would do well, and he seemed very grateful.

'Where are you headed from here?' I asked.

'Well, I found this little map on the back of this
amusement park coupon.'

'Are you hoping to hire on there for awhile?'

'No, I just figure I should go there. I figure someone
under that star right there needs a Bible, so that's where
I'm going next.'

He smiled, and the warmth of his spirit radiated the
sincerity of his mission. I drove him back to the
town-square where we'd met two hours earlier, and as we
drove, it started raining. We parked and unloaded his things.

'Would you sign my autograph book?' he asked.. 'I like
to keep messages from folks I meet.'

I wrote in his little book that his commitment to his
calling had touched my life. I encouraged him to stay
strong. And I left him with a verse of scripture from
Jeremiah, 'I know the plans I have for you, declared the
Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you; Plans to
give you a future and a hope.'

'Thanks, man,' he said. 'I know we just met and we're
really just strangers, but I love you.'

'I know,' I said, 'I love you, too..' 'The Lord is good!'

'Yes, He is. How long has it been since someone hugged
you?' I asked.

A long time,' he replied

And so on the busy street corner in the drizzling rain,
my new friend and I embraced, and I felt deep inside that I
had been changed.. He put his things on his back, smiled his
winning smile and said, 'See you in the New Jerusalem.'

'I'll be there!' was my reply..

He began his journey again. He headed away with his sign
dangling from his bedroll and pack of Bibles. He stopped,
turned and said, 'When you see something that makes you
think of me, will you pray for me?'

'You bet,' I shouted back, 'God bless.'

'God bless.' And that was the last I saw of him..

Late that evening as I left my office, the wind blew
strong. The cold front had settled hard upon the town. I
bundled up and hurried to my car. As I sat back and reached
for the emergency brake, I saw them.... a pair of well-worn
brown work gloves neatly laid over the length of the handle.
I picked them up and thought of my friend and wondered if
his hands would stay warm that night without them.

Then I remembered his words: 'If you see something that
makes you think of me, will you pray for me?'

Today his gloves lie on my desk in my office.. They help
me to see the world and its people in a new way, and they
help me remember those two hours with my unique friend and
to pray for his ministry. 'See you in the New Jerusalem,' he
said. Yes, Daniel, I know I will...

'I shall pass this way but once. Therefore, any good
that I can do or any kindness that I can show, let me do it
now, for I shall not pass this way again.'

This prayer is powerful and there is nothing attached.
Please do not break this pattern. Prayer is one of the best
gifts we receive. There is no cost but a lot of rewards.
Let's continue to pray for one another. God bless and have a
nice day!

'Father, I ask you to bless my friends, relatives and
e-mail buddies reading this right now. Show them a new
revelation of your love and power. Holy Spirit, I ask you to
minister to their spirit at this very moment. Where there is
pain, give them your peace and mercy. Where there is
self-doubt, release a renewed confidence through your grace,
In Jesus' precious Name Amen.'


Related Posts with Thumbnails