Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written by: Teresa Criswell
Written by: Teresa Criswell
"For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.'" ~ Jesus Christ
~ Matthew 25:35 ~
I have to admit ~ I don't know what I thought when we were going down there...but whatever thoughts I had were surpassed in so many ways. The premature aged faces of the many homeless people and their stories were perspective changing for my daughter and I. The desire to hold onto things loosened as we saw so many destitute. Yet even in their destitution, they smiled and expressed how blessed they were. They expressed with great gratitude that so many of us were there. Many of the homeless people who have nothing according to our standards of living...yet, they proclaimed that they were blessed.
There were two specific people I will never forget. Clean-cut, and most likely in his late 30's, sitting beside him; his four year old little girl. Many of us noticed her small frame and beautiful big brown eyes as she sat on the edge of the curb under the bridge with her dad. He was leaned up against the curb with his legs extended outward as he had a fork in his hand, motioning his fork like an airplane as food was on the end of it. We noticed that she didn't want to eat very much but he continued to encourage her to eat.
One of the ladies walked over to them as I followed with my daughter by my side. My daughter looked up at me and said, "Mom, this is so sad." and I nodded to her as I agreed. We walked over to them, and I knelt beside him, sitting on my knees as my daughter knelt beside me and the girl. We said our hello's. I then asked the father, "What happened? What led you to the streets?" You could almost hear the lump in his throat form as tears welled up in his eyes. Slowly looking down and shaking his head he whispered, "Drugs and alcohol." I didn't say a word and neither did he...tears streamed down his face as he looked at his daughter. His face said it all as he looked at her.
We sat there for a few moments. There were many homeless people and volunteers all around being ministered to. The praise music bellowing so beautifully through the speakers as cars sped by. Even with all the hustle and bustle, it was not able to interrupt the silence. I could sense the presence of God. In that moment, nervousness slipped away as I placed my hand on his shoulder and the only words I remember saying was, "Jesus loves you; He is Your Deliverer." He looked at me with great frustration and said, "I have known this most of my life; but I can't stop." I remember looking into his tear-filled eyes and said, "You must now experience what you know." He looked at me and cried even more. At about this time is when a large built man came over and started to minister to him. It was amazing to see the volunteer's children come around this little girl and play with her. She opened up with giggles; smiling and screaming in laughter as the girls so lovingly played with her. We asked if they had a place to stay and he said, "Yes I stay at the Salvation Army where I have a bed, and my daughter is visiting with me today, she will be going back to her mom's house later on today."
(Pictured above is my daughter and the little girl wanting to be held as she giggled and played).
I was reminded as I awoke yesterday morning..."When you feed and clothe them, you feed and clothe Me."
Someone asked me about our experience and I could not articulate it into words. The only thing I could say, "The experience went beyond my mind and eyes...it seeped deep even into my skin....my whole body...I will never be the same again."