God is in the gutters of Hollywood. Every week, we see Him on the streets. From 11pm to 2am, friends gather to have church on the concrete. We come from different backgrounds – homeless, college grads, high school drop-outs, saints, addicts, bangers, and believers – all broken but mended only with the glue of Christ’s blood. The most amazing part of this journey is to watch the Holy Spirit at work. Whether a friend is high or low, just turned a trick, or about to find one, for a brief moment the streets take pause and read the Word of God. Jesus truly does meet you where you’re at.
One Friday, a U.K. ministry team who serves the streets of London visited us to partner up for a night. Some from their ministry were once homeless themselves until God yanked them from darkness. Today, they share the gospel with other homeless men and women, just as the gospel was once shared with them. One servant, a big-hearted Scotsman, pulled out his phone to show me a picture from his past in the throws of addiction and homelessness. His face was unrecognizable in the portrait of his rebellion.
While hanging out, a long-time friend from the streets who we haven’t seen in months, walked into the convenient store. I ran him down and touched his shoulder (a holy kiss). His shifty eyes paused and he looked right at me: “That feels good,” he said unarmed. I let him know how happy I was to see him and asked how he was doing. “Fighting demons,” he said. “Insane is when demons live in a sane person; so I am going insane.” I invited him to hang out with us – eat some pizza and attend the Refuge Service. He refused but promised to come back after he scored a rock. We both knew…that wasn’t happening. The Holy Spirit prompted me to grab the Scotsman and an English woman to pray over our friend. The Scotsman and I laid hands on his rigid shoulders while the Englishwoman reached one hand toward the heavens and the other on his heart. She beckoned, “Come Holy Spirit. Come Holy Spirit…” Our weary friend closed his eyes and repeated under his breath how good it felt to be touched. His heart softened and tears poured from his eyes. He leaned into us and his body melted.
As I watched him surrender, I wanted, expected him to fall to his knees, ask for forgiveness, repent and be saved. This was his perfect moment and if it doesn’t happen right now, it never will (Philippians 4:6-7). Instead, he wiped his tears, thanked us with a hug and left to score his rock. Was I discouraged? Yes. But who am I to say what God did with him on his way to get high, or what God will do with him right now? Lord, forgive me. All any believer can do is love the people God puts before us when they enter our lives, even for a brief moment. After all, we don’t do the saving. Thank God!
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.