I’ve spent much of the day thinking about and praying for an elderly gentleman I don’t even know. Who is he? Why am I praying for him?
He is a man I saw for the first time last night and have never personally met. As I stood outside a restaurant after dinner with friends, I watched as the elderly man had trouble figuring out how to turn the lights off on his car. My heart was overwhelmed with compassion for him. I wish now that I had allowed that compassion to move me to speak to him. But I didn’t. I said a little prayer as he walked away into another restaurant.
My friends and I continued to visit with one another on the sidewalk. We noticed one of the valets from yet another restaurant run over to the car as the back lights still appeared to be on.
As he passed us we explained that the gentleman had trouble with his lights and we told him which restaurant he had gone into. He said he was very familiar with this man. He had been banned from the restaurant the valet works at because the man would drink too much and get drunk. And he also brought prostitutes to the restaurant with him. My heart was overwhelmed with compassion for this man. Even more so than before.
I don’t recall what I said, but I expressed my feelings about this man. The valet basically said that I shouldn’t feel sorry for the guy because he is doing it to himself.
Today as I pray for this man I’ve never met, this man whose name I don’t know, some scriptures about our Savior Jesus are filling my heart.
And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many, and they followed him. And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners? When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. (Mark 2:15-17, KJV)
And behold, a woman of the town who was an especially wicked sinner, when she learned that He was reclining at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment (perfume). And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears,and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment. Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner. (Luke 7:37-39, KJV)
Jesus goes on to forgive this woman of all her sins and speaks of her great love. He who is forgiven much, loves much. She was forgiven much.
I think too of the words He spoke to the woman caught in adultery.
He said to her, “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” (John 8:10-11, NKJV)
I wish I had shared John 3:16-17 with this man. But I didn’t and for that I repent. But today I pray that someone, even if it’s me Lord, will cross his path and tell him the Truth that will set him free.
For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life. For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him. (John 3:16-17, Amplified)
PS… As I typed this, I almost didn’t use the word gentleman at the beginning. I also thought about typing the words, the Truth that could set him free. I chose to call this man a gentleman and to say these words will set him free because just like God I call those things that be not as though they were. Agree with me for this man’s salvation and restoration.