For multiple years, driving home, I noticed that someone had established a makeshift home, amidst dirt, debris, rubbish, and noise. This dwelling place had one cement wall and a roof that was actually the bottom pavement of a busy overpass. Each time I drove by I would gaze up in shock, attempting to decipher living condition details. Cardboard boxes, blankets, fast food bags, and cartons surrounded the domain, affixed on a steep hill. Truly to walk up to the actual space could prove challenging. On occasion, I would drive by and it would be unoccupied and other times you could see parts of a body resting or sleeping, eking out from behind the hanging blanket constructed for privacy.
For years I drove by and looked up in wonderment. What about the cold? What about the danger? Who actually lives in the space? I do not think I ever drove by without glaring into what was their 1 bedroom studio. However, one Saturday afternoon, I packed a large bag of clothes and drove back to the location. My daughter was with me. I parked, rolled down the front passenger window. I rolled down my daughters back seat window as well. I gazed up, seeing the blankets, cardboard, cans, plastic bags, but signs of a person could not be detected. I yelled, “Hello, do you need any clothes?” No response. I thought no one was home, but on my third yell, a head rose up slowly and she said yes, making her way down the hill effortlessly. My mystified five year old daughter in a low tone said, “Daddy, she lives there?” I said yes, she is homeless. She graciously retrieved the clothes and made her way back up the hill and disappeared behind the blankets and boxes. I rolled up the windows and prepared to dive off and then I yelled again, what is your name? She said Sheila. I told her I would be back. As I drove away I could not hold back the tears, because it was no longer a mystery. It was a person with a name. Before I knew her name the emotional tug at the living condition was not as acute, but now this was the home of Sheila. She had been living like this for a long time.
I went back a few days later, gave her money, and invited her to worship. I thought I would not cry the second time, but the tears swelled again. My daughter and I picked her up for worship and Sheila was well dressed. After that encounter Sheila found housing with a denomination, and part of the stipulation was that she would have to worship with that organization. Sheila taught me a lot. At some point I had to stop and make a connection. We can only drive by for so long. Once we learn the name we may never be the same. As Christians we must Serve Him Eagerly In Love Always. Remember, You are the clay In The Potter’s Hands. God has Paved a Way to Save You Today.