Street Stories

Weblog of Seattle minister to the homeless Rick Reynolds, Operation Nightwatch

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Location: Seattle, Washington, United States

Caring for human beings seems like the best use of my time, homeless or not.

Friday, November 04, 2011

A prayer for John

How can I pray for John, who hobbles from his wheelchair to the bed
In the shelter that is a poor substitute for a nursing home?
He was crushed by a car, body and spirit.
His bridges burned, John looks now, in half-hearted jest  
For another bridge.
This one for jumping.
After  40-something years, there are no life-long friends.  No family to rally him,
No platoon members to save him, no co-workers to greet him,
no former neighbors or lodge brothers to slap him on the back and smile
Not a single sister, deacon, usher, or Sunday school teacher
From the store-front Missionary Baptist Church of his childhood
Who will weep with him and treasure his soul.
And now, in a random encounter, he grips my hand and asks for prayer.
I am a stranger.
How can I pray for John of the burned bridges and the broken body?
I sigh deeply, knowing .
His needs are mine too.
“Lord, grant us Wisdom to know Your will, and the strength to do that.”
From these two things, come all the rest;
                    peace, joy,  brothers, sisters, and greener pastures.


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