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Doing the Right Thing

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Submitted By brightgyrl
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Doing the Right thing on the Streets of Fort Lauderdale

I was just about to get into my car at the Fort Lauderdale Post Office when a woman approached me and said in slurred words, “Can you give me 50 cents to catch the bus?” She was gaunt and haggard and I suspected she was much younger than she looked. The ranked stench of alcohol assaulted me. She was obviously under the influence, but I asked her anyway, “Have you been drinking?”

Unable to understand her I asked her if she had a home. She said no, and that she’d been sleeping outside. I asked the woman her name and she answered, “Annie.” I said, “Annie, do you have a family?” Her reply was that her husband had died. I asked if she had any children; her response was incomprehensible, so I asked her if she’d like a place to stay. She answered “I’m really tired and want to sleep. My bones feel like their breaking."

My heart went out to Annie. What experiences had she endured that had caused her to come to this point in her life? I knew of only one way to get some immediate help for Annie. I asked if I could pray with her and she immediately agreed. She was wearing thick woolen gloves, one of which she immediately took off so she could clasp her hand in mine. That really affected me; her action indicated to me that she really wanted the touch of another warm hand. I wondered how long it had been since she had felt any kind of human contact.

Right there in the Post Office parking lot I closed my eyes and we had church. I was oblivious to everything going on around me as I asked the Lord to touch Annie and become real in her life. As I opened my eyes, I saw Annie looking at me. Her face was just a few inches from mine. I asked if she knew Jesus. She looked almost a little indignant that I had asked her such a question and answered me quoting Matthew 8:20, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” She followed by saying, “Yes.” I replied, “Annie, that’s great!”

Then she stayed right their so I could call the shelter and have a van driver come to get her. I figured what Annie needed most at that point was to get off her feet and have somewhere warm to lie down and sleep. Everything else could wait until she was rested and sober. I put my hand on Annie’s arm, and told her to be safe until the driver came. She said she’d prefer to wait for the drivers at the McDonalds’ just down the road.

A little while later the driver called me and said he had found Annie, but there was a problem. She didn’t want to go to the shelter unless she could bring her beer with her. I said that wouldn’t be appropriate. I wondered what was going through Annie’s mind that she would trade a warm, safe place to stay for beer and a cold miserable night on the street.

Written off by many, Annie remained on my mind. She was one of Fort Lauderdale’s many homeless, whom, despite their troubles, are still incredibly precious in God’s eyesight.

I was just about to get into my car at the Fort Lauderdale Post Office when a woman approached me and said in slurred words, “Can you give me 50 cents to catch the bus?” She was gaunt and haggard and I suspected she was much younger than she looked. The ranked stench of alcohol assaulted me. She was obviously under the influence, but I asked her anyway, “Have you been drinking?”

Unable to understand her I asked her if she had a home. She said no, and that she’d been sleeping outside. I asked the woman her name and she answered, “Annie.” I said, “Annie, do you have a family?” Her reply was that her husband had died. I asked if she had any children; her response was incomprehensible, so I asked her if she’d like a place to stay. She answered “I’m really tired and want to sleep. My bones feel like their breaking."

My heart went out to Annie. What experiences had she endured that had caused her to come to this point in her life? I knew of only one way to get some immediate help for Annie. I asked if I could pray with her and she immediately agreed. She was wearing thick woolen gloves, one of which she immediately took off so she could clasp her hand in mine. That really affected me; her action indicated to me that she really wanted the touch of another warm hand. I wondered how long it had been since she had felt any kind of human contact.

Right there in the Post Office parking lot I closed my eyes and we had church. I was oblivious to everything going on around me as I asked the Lord to touch Annie and become real in her life. As I opened my eyes, I saw Annie looking at me. Her face was just a few inches from mine. I asked if she knew Jesus. She looked almost a little indignant that I had asked her such a question and answered me quoting Matthew 8:20, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” She followed by saying, “Yes.” I replied, “Annie, that’s great!”

Then she stayed right their so I could call the shelter and have a van driver come to get her. I figured what Annie needed most at that point was to get off her feet and have somewhere warm to lie down and sleep. Everything else could wait until she was rested and sober. I put my hand on Annie’s arm, and told her to be safe until the driver came. She said she’d prefer to wait for the drivers at the McDonalds’ just down the road.

A little while later the driver called me and said he had found Annie, but there was a problem. She didn’t want to go to the shelter unless she could bring her beer with her. I said that wouldn’t be appropriate. I wondered what was going through Annie’s mind that she would trade a warm, safe place to stay for beer and a cold miserable night on the street.

Written off by many, Annie remained on my mind. She was one of Fort Lauderdale’s many homeless, whom, despite their troubles, are still incredibly precious in God’s eyesight.

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