He showed up at our Sunday morning gathering a couple of months ago. He was early, so he sat in the corner and read his Bible as the worship team practiced. During worship and communion I noticed him wiping tears from his eyes and I knew he was feeling something deep down inside – what exactly, I didn’t know.
A few weeks went by and we announced we would be doing water baptisms down at the river, and he asked if he could be baptized. We sat and talked before his baptism and he shared his painful story with me. He grieves the death of a four year old daughter and a dark path that followed, with many bad choices.
The Sunday he was baptized I asked him and the others if they would share why they wanted to be baptized. Each of the baptism candidates spoke of their love for Jesus and their desire to follow Him. He did the same, but he also shared how he had always felt like an outcast and that this – this was the first time, the first church where he felt like he belonged. When he finished I asked if any other “outcasts” in the room would stand so that our brother could see he wasn’t alone. The shuffle of chairs was almost deafening as every person – young and old alike – in the room stood to their feet. “You’re in good company man,” I told him.
He’s off the streets, but his living situation is less than ideal and he desperately needs a better living situation. His job is a job, but he can’t survive on what he’s making. He needs to make more money. His only form of transportation is a skateboard. The road ahead of him is steep and long and hard, and this morning as we sat at the outside bar he told me he wanted to run away – to give up. I asked him not to. He agreed.
I’m hoping another outcast will read this and will step up to help this outcast.
He needs a bicycle.
He needs a better job.
He needs a place to live.
He needs his “outcast family” to offer him a hand up – not a handout.
So . . . calling all outcasts, if you can help let me hear from you