Please. Just Stop.

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I saw this man yesterday morning.  Sleeping in the doorway of a church down the street from my shop.

I thought about him all day long.  If you could have heard the thoughts running through my mind . . . 

“How sad! Sleeping in the doorway of a church.”

“They’d probably run him off if they knew he was there.”

“Just look at that, right there in front of their door.”

My thoughts became even more critical as the day went on.   I won’t even tell you what all I thought in my head.  It didn’t help that earlier that morning I read where a guy was asking for his ministry “partners” to help him raise tens of millions of dollars to buy him a new jet.  

All day long, I boiled inside at the sad picture I had seen earlier in the day.  Later in the  evening I was just fuming away, when I felt a gentle whisper deep in my heart say “Please, Just Stop!”  It was the Holy Spirit and man did He start convicting me.

“Stop being critical!”      “Stop judging.”         “Stop assuming”

“Please, just stop.”

Then it got real uncomfortable.  What did I do about the man?  What need did I meet?  My own.  I took his picture.  So I could post it on a blog, and blast “The Church” for not doing enough.  I was guilty.

I drove by him again this morning. All of a sudden I felt that same gentle whisper say the exact same thing,

“Please, just stop.”   

I argued with Him, but only for a second.  I circled back around to Cadence, went inside and got a cup of coffee to go.  Drove back to the church, got out of my car, walked up the steps and sat down with the man.

His name is Allen.  He was recently released from the hospital, he still had his admission bracelet on.  He lifted his shirt to show me his scar from a surgery to remove part of his pancreas and his gall bladder.  A few days earlier he had been hit by a car.  “I drink to numb the pain, I just can’t handle it,” he said as tears streamed down his face.

I sat there, and cried with him.  I told him, “Allen, I’m sorry.  I’m sorry you’re in pain.  I’m sorry I drove by yesterday and didn’t stop.”  I told him to come down to the shop, and order whatever he wanted to eat.  He was just happy with the cup of coffee.  

I prayed for him, that God would heal his pain, that God would get him off the streets, that He would know just how much God loved him.

Please understand this is NOT a “Look at me, look what I did” blog post.  

This is me asking you to . . . 

Please.  Just Stop.

Stop pointing fingers.

Stop being critical of the Church for not doing enough.

Stop judging others and how they spend or get their money.

Stop assuming that if you help someone like Alan he’s just going to “use it all on booze.”

Stop expecting someone else to  stop and help him out.

You. 

Yes You. 

Please, just stop.

Stop and ask his name.

Stop and pray for him

Stop and give him the cash in your pocket, a gift card to a restaurant, or a cup of coffee.  

Please.  I beg you . . . Please, just stop.

You’re not responsible for what happens afterward.  I really think that the Holy Spirit is asking you and me to . . .

Please, just stop.

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