Interesting things happen in church. Today (11-13-2016), toward the end of the song service, a young man came in the door. He was sand covered, ragged, wearing overalls and carrying a backpack, sleeping bag and a bag of what I assume were his clothes. Standing on the riser singing, I was easy to see so I waved him to come on in and I continued singing. He laid his belongings on the last pew and sat down.
We finished the song service and the offering collection. I then went back to talk to the man. I gave him a printout of the sermon that Brother Jack was going to present so that he could follow along. He thanked me and said that he had been walking along the Red River, was hungry and was trying to get to Paris, TX. Have you ever gotten the feeling that something was wrong? Well, I got the feeling that something was right. I’ve met people that are just trying to get money. He didn’t strike me that way. He said he could use whatever we could give … money, or some food, whatever.
I looked at him for a few seconds and said: “Tell you what: you hang in here (he said he was planning to stay for the service) and when the service is over I’ll give you a ride to Paris.” He listened to the sermon and said “Amen” to some of what Brother Jack was saying. Some of the congregation closer to him said he made some nice comments as well. Like I said, I just had this feeling that something was right about this young man.
Oddly enough, he looked familiar to me, but I can’t say I knew him. At the evening service, others in the Congregation made similar comments.
After the service was over, one of the members gave him a few dollars that he didn’t ask for and I gave him the ride to Paris that I promised. We talked about church, ministries that he had been in and just chatter. He was polite and genuinely thankful for whatever he received. I dropped him in town and headed home.
Now you could say: “Oh he’s just a bum”, or other things like that. Maybe so. But maybe he was sent by God to see what we would do. Maybe we met an Angel, messenger of something like that this day.
I introduced myself and he said his name was Joshua. He didn’t even blink when he said his name. If you look up the word “Yeshua”, you find:
Yeshua was a common alternative form of the name יְהוֹשֻׁעַ (“Yehoshuah” – Joshua) in later books of the Hebrew Bible and among Jews of the Second Temple period. The name corresponds to the Greek spelling Iesous, from which, through the Latin Iesus, comes the English spelling Jesus.
Coincidence? Maybe … but maybe not.
God bless you Joshua, and all of you reading this as well,