Remembering John (Operation God is Love)

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Picture credit: Pinterest

Whatever you’ve done to the least of these, you’ve done unto Me,~Jesus.

Operation God is Love is a street ministry I started this Spring. The objectives are to take the Gospel into the city, to pray for people, to share Jesus, and be instruments of love. I am drawn to people no one loves. They are too dirty, broken, messed up, and outcasts of society. I look into their eyes and my heart cries out, “I see you. You are loved.

This ministry is small. It’s me and two other women who pack up supplies and hit the city month after month. We never know who we will see or what God will do. What we do know is that God is good. God is all powerful. God is love. God has empowered us to go into all the world and make disciples! The Great Commission was given to all…

John (not his real name) was a beggar and homeless man we met our first time out. He was young, maybe early thirties. He was hungry and sad. John captured my attention the moment we saw him, and we took him to get pizza.

I’ve never seen someone so undone by what I would consider reasonable kindness…a meal. The Bible says, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him.” John wasn’t an enemy. He was a hurting person who was invisible to many people who walked by.

He told us many people ignored him or looked down on him. He carried tremendous emotional pain and shame.

We asked about his life. We gave him a Bible and literature. We gave him food and supplies. We told him about Jesus. We prayed with John and his friend who showed up later. We prayed for healing of his leg. We spent an afternoon with John. Doing all we knew to do to express God’s heart.

John met his Maker a few weeks ago. He overdosed on some drug. We don’t know if it was an accident or on purpose. I do know the level of pain and shame he carried was heavy. I can’t imagine living his life story. I do remember his tears as we informed him of God’s love and redemption. I don’t know if John finally gave his life to Christ. He didn’t when we were with him.

Here’s what I do know…

It pays to stop for the one. I run into so many hurting or homeless people and sometimes it’s impossible to get to everyone. I can’t help everyone. I can help one person. I can share the Gospel with one. I can feed one. I can love one.

I don’t think I will ever forget John’s face. It’s etched in my memory. He wasn’t too dirty for me to touch. He wasn’t so lost I didn’t want to reach out. He wasn’t invisible. He was seen and loved. I was honored to share a meal with him. Honored God allowed our paths to cross. Honored to love him as a person God loves.

My encouragement to you is this…you have the ability to change someone’s life and enlarge heaven. Don’t waste it. Yes, it’s unsettling at first to reach out to strangers, but it’s worth it. I’ve found people on the street more welcoming and appreciative than people who gather in churches on Sundays. It’s far easier for me to minister to the hurting than people who think they have it all together and don’t need or want love.

Please pray for us as we continue to go out! We want to see God’s Kingdom come and His will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Heaven full! Hell empty. We can’t do everything. We can do something….

Love in Christ,

Erin