|Homeless Man and Dog
There were no thunderbolts, but I heard,
“Buy that Dog some dog food!”
Yep! That’s just what I heard! About the same time I noticed his owner on the street corner, holding a little sign. So skinny. Such wild, fuzzy long hair. The owner, that is. Poor doggie, he lay there listless while his owner held a sign. I imagine they were both hungry.
The traffic that slowed only momentarily had suddenly picked up and I was swiftly surrounded and pushed forward by other cars toward the freeway onramp. Engulfed by thick traffic, I lost sight of them both.
“Help Him, Lord…send somebody to help Him,” I called out loud.
Inside my heart, I heard……”I did…….You!”
“What? I am already way over here. How do I do that?” I heard myself say – also out loud.
I knew better. Even if I was to be inconvenienced by getting on the freeway and had to take the first off ramp to go back and find him, that’s what I’d have to do!
“Okay, Lord, if YOU provide an opening, I’ll do it.” Resolve settled in.
Right then, someone cut in front of me! How unnerving! It could have been detrimental except that I was able to move the right – where I needed to be.
My pounding heart! Well, that wasn’t quite what I had in mind, and it was many blocks before I could turn around. All the while, I heard the Holy Spirit say,
“I’ll show you where to go.”
I meandered back to the area, not quite sure whichcorner it was that I saw them. There was no getting close or catching this poor man’s attention. By now I was curious to see how the Holy Spirit was going to handle this. I felt led to turn into a little alley-like drive. It took me behind a hotel and meandered until I was close enough to the corner of the sidewalk.
Stopping and watching the area, I knew I didn’t want to get out of the car! But, as Only GOD Can DO IT, as I rolled down my window, he looked my way. I motioned for him, and he walked over while his dog stayed put.
“God has sent me to buy your dog some food and you too! Meet me over at that fast food place, okay?
“Just some coffee for me, Ma’am”, he mumbled.
“No, God said FOOD”, I replied, laughing, and took off.
The noon rush on all the surrounding restaurants was apparent, so it took me a bit to find parking. This fellow made it inside before me. His doggie lay on a dirty backpack outside.
With food purchases made and this dirty fellow seated, I introduced myself, told him to go wash up and that I was going to the store to buy his dog some food, and to wait there ‘til I returned. Inquiring eyes engaged mine and he nodded to my every word.
“My name is Zeus”, he volunteered a little shyly. My dad had a weird sense of humor. My brother’s name is Lucifer and my dog is Bear.”
I left him to get the dog food. A blanket and several other things fairly fell into the shopping cart. A time-check told me that I was running late. I still had more than a 90 minute drive to get to an appointment.
Back at the food place he waited patiently. I mentioned that I had an appointment that I had to get to, but that I had a few things I wanted to talk with him about first.
As I shook those beyond-filthy, festering hands, I let him know that I hadn’t planned to be in his town on that day, but that something came up requiring me to change my plans. I told him how I noticed his dog and what God spoke to my heart and how I got out of traffic to turn around and find him.
The whole restaurant seemed to get quiet. A tall black man, who had been standing watching, eased into the booth behind Zeus and bowed his head. Yes! I had backup!
Suddenly, Zeus got a little flustered and then upset. Grabbing the edges of the table he hoisted himself halfway up and leaned forward with a mean smirk,
“Then why, if God loves me so much, does HE let me suffer and be cold like this?”
“Oh no you don’t!” I retorted.
Now, let me preface the rest of the story by saying this: something most people know about me is that I seek not to hurt or offend. What came out of my mouth surprised me almost as much as it did Zeus!
My voice took on a stern tone and as I leaned into his face, I heard myself saying,
” Quit Pissing and moaning and be a man! Are you telling me that none of your circumstances today are a result of some of YOUR OWN crummy decisions??
You know, this isn’t the first time you’ve heard about God or His story, so quit pissing and moaning and listen. God is telling me that you need to make some changes – fast! You have some decisions to make. He also says that You don’t have much time. What are you going to say when you leave this body and stand before your Creator?”
“I did the best I could?” he mumbled.
“Wrong answer! You lose!” I said with emphasis
You would have thought I gut-punched him. He sank back into the seat, wide-eyed, sitting motionless for a moment. I stayed standing but my eyes never left his. I’m not sure I even blinked.
Zeus thawed a bit and slowly but clearly said,
“Well, I guess you gotta hear some things you don’t like to get your attention, huh? Did you say you have an appointment and a long drive?”
“Nancy are you going to be late?”
“Because of me?”
“Then that’s proof that God sent you”
“Zeus, “ I said, “You are more important to God than anything. This is what HE sent ME to do. I can’t offer anything more that this bit of time right now, and I may never see you again in this life, but I want to see you in heaven!”
Opening the bag with the rest of the supplies I bought for him, my tone softened and I said,
“Here you go – for you and Bear. Also, here are some comic booklets with stories. There are prayers at the end. Read them and pray those prayers. Give your life to God. I’m going to pray over you right now before I go.”
He shook his head in amazement. All the wind had gone out of his sails. I sensed the Holy Spirits presence.
The Holy Spirit prayed lovingly through me and I felt Him cover Zeus.
After I opened my eyes, the restaurant was still full of people but there was still a Holy-hush over the store.
There was much more to the exchange between Zeus and me that day, but too much to delineate. Like Mary, I have hidden these things in my heart.
As I drove, my body began to shake and tears fell. I praised God for His wonderful kindness and mercy.
I might have been late for my appointment, but I never want to be late for my Divine Appointments.
And when I get to heaven, I believe I’ll meet Zeus there – – – – and Bear too!