Tonight, as I left the local deli with our dinner tucked under my arm, I came upon a homeless man lying slumped against the wall. I froze on the spot and could walk no further. Something held me there and as I looked at him lying eyes closed in the freezing cold, I said to Brian ‘there is no way on God’s earth that I can walk past this person without getting him something to eat. It is not ok that we have money to help and we don’t. We must help!’ It was crystal clear. There was no option. Only conviction. So I went back into the deli, Brian’s credit card in hand (thanks my darling) and ordered some warm soup and a fresh bread roll.
He was still slumped when I came out so I called out to him ‘I have some food for you, warm soup and bread.’ With tears in his eyes he slowly sat up and said ‘I came here tonight to this deli and I started to pray. I am so hungry but nothing happened.’ (Something HAD happened, we had seen how the security guard (only doing his job in this crazy country) had dragged him, crutches scraping along behind, away from the deli entrance.)
‘Please’’ he said ‘give me bread. First, bread’. We quickly put the soup down and got out the bread roll. Then he continued ‘I prayed to God to help me, but nothing happened. I am so hungry. I prayed to God.” Then he begged ‘Please get me bread, more bread. Ask your husband for more bread.’’ So I took the credit card and went back inside the deli and got him more bread (and milk, and fruit and chocolate).
His name was Johnny one eye. He wanted to hug me. As I walked away I was sobbing. Johnny one-eye had his prayers answered, and I got a heart-opening reminder of the power of prayer. Johnny one-eye had not spoken to me to ask for food . His prayer went from his lips to God’s ears, and from God’s lips into my heart – so loud and clear that my legs refused to walk past.
Prayer works. Let’s all keep praying. Let’s all keep listening. God answers prayers by moving the hearts of people. And there is nothing more beautiful than being used to answer a prayer.