You Never Know
As many of you know, we have had some interesting situations involving some of the homeless people that tend to use our property as a thoroughfare between the light rail and the Walmart. Some will use our property as a sleeping area, bathroom or kitchen area or, on some occasions, much to the chagrin of our neighbors, they have decided that clothing is optional! My security team and I see between 4-5 persons each week. Most are docile and kindly ask for money or something to eat. Some are a little more aggressive and require assistance in leaving the property.
Mark was a guy that we came in contact with over a year ago. Mark was living out of his old truck and asked permission to park in our lot for a few days. At first glance, Mark looked to be one of the aggressive types that might require “assistance”. After talking to Mark it was obvious that he was intelligent, kind, and most of all, grateful for a place to park. Mark told me that he was still struggling with an expensive gut-wrenching divorce that occurred three years prior. He was also reeling from a lay off that left him jobless and still helping his mother pay for her continued care. I had spoken to many homeless people but, somehow, talking to Mark was different. Even after everything he had been through, there was still hope.
Mark’s favorite Bible verse was Philippians 4:13. He said it was his mother’s favorite verse and she encouraged Mark to memorize it along with Matthew 28:20. He said he knew that the Lord had a plan for him. He knew that he was not alone even though there were times when he was crushed by his loneliness. Most importantly, Mark said “at least I’m assured that God has a place waiting for me!”
I invited Mark to come to church but he was always too self-conscious about his body odor. (He wasn’t able to shower or wash clothes on a regular basis). There were some very caring people at our Church that brought Mark food, blankets and, most precious of all, conversation and prayer!
This was a good lesson for me and our security team. How often we jump to conclusions about people without really getting to know them. Remember, as the Psalmist said “blessed are those who have regard for the weak; the Lord delivers them in times of trouble”. We never know when we may end up in Mark’s shoes.
By the way, I bumped into Mark a couple weeks ago. He found a job and is now living in a nice apartment. He attends church regularly and still cares for his 90 year old mother.
Blessings on your day!!
Kent Patton, Operations Manager