Monday, January 24, 2011

John T.

Last night, Christine and I went out to dinner after visiting my dad in the hospital. About the time our main course arrived, a young man with a hooded sweatshirt and the perfunctory ear buds came into the dining area and went to the diners across from us. I assumed he was asking for money. They gave him a vehement, "No."


He came to our table and asked for money. I asked if he was hungry. He said yes. I told him to sit down and we would by him dinner; whatever he wished. I said he only need enough for McDonald's. I insisted. He sat.


I asked him his name. It was JohnT…. I told him mine and Christine introduced herself. I asked what his story was. He was 19 and a Katrina evacuee. He did not finish high school but was 2 months into a 6 month GED program. He had been looking for work but no luck. He had been in jail. Christine asked if he was homeless. He said, "No, not yet." He lived with 3 other men and most of them had little or no work. He was estranged from his family who were in another state.


We discussed the difficulty of employment and had a few suggestions. He had recently joined a church (one I knew of) and hoped life would take a turn for the better. I knew it would be very hard but encouraged him.


As we left, I paid for his meal and gave him a twenty and stretched out my hand for a handshake. He said, "I could use a hug." I did.


I prayed for John today. He and his plight weighed heavily on me.


Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. Hebrews 13:2

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