I was gonna save this for a low traffic day but okay.
Ask for the long version.
Wow! My oh my. should I feel bad? NO it’s not a bad feeling. It’s just that the short version may make me sound crazy. Picked up a bum and gave him a 20. I know i did the right thing. Only time and the Father will tell what lies ahead. But you’re all welcome to read the long version.
So this fine day, the one and only thing I had to get done was to get x-rays. Got me a visit from a great friend, got a whole new collection of spiritual music, talked to some very old friends, promised to read the Bible, promised to spend time studying the Bible of said friends. All the while making calls and txts to find one who could get me a ride for the x- rays.
Come 3:00. No worries, I have time. I have faith in the Lord. I have patience in the Lord. My backup has run out of time and can no longer be of service. Mom calls and says she has to stay late for work. Um. patience, faith. FAITH.
With the right kind of faith you can move mountains right? Well faith I go. I drove some 20 miles to get to hospital.
along the way i was angry. angry that it had to come to this. especially angry at the hospital for not having a way to get it to my physician. Well push comes to shove, I drove bitter.
I was about a mile away, on the off ramp of the highway. A beggar/ homeless man paced the side. It’s a red light. He’s walking my way. I have a pass along BofM in my side door. He’s right next to me. My window is open. I’m blasting MoTab. I don’t even bat an eye. He makes his way past me. I sit and say I’ll give it to him on the way back. Green light. Perhaps I’ll toss it out the window.
I will go back after the hospital.
St Matthew 25:37-40
“Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when we saw thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty and gave thee drink?
When we saw a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
Tears. Sob Sob. Uncontrollable tears. I must turn back.
So there I am hazard lights on pulling up to this exit, middle of the intersection mind you. Only the beggar I saw wasn’t there.
Another man was there, humble, beat, down in the dumps, he plops down.
HONK, HONK. Get in.
St Matthew 17:7
“And Jesus came and touched them and said, Arise and be not afraid.”
The man looks up. “Come in.” And in he came.
Immediately he saw my crutches and was curious to know of my injury. But halt. I had to introduce myself “I am John,” and learned of his name Jeremy. His fraternal twin brother’s name is John. I needed to explain to him the reason why I turned around. So I did, and we got onto the story of my ankle. That aside we grew engrossed in conversation.
I learned Jeremy got divorced and that’s when his life went downhill. Jeremy recently came from out of town a week ago. His home roots are California, but he had a life in the Lou as well. His father died on a road we passed through. He only had crackers to eat this morning.
Jeremy lives with a couple guys and is struggling to pay this month’s rent. He doesn’t have a razor.
By that time Jeremy learned of my mission. Eager to help we agreed that if he helped me I would help him. I offered him my phone number, but not gave.
I told him about the Church how we have one very close to where we were. I really wanted to take him after our trip for x rays. So that was the plan.
As we lost track of time and direction. I had to rely on Onstar to point me to Urgent Care. We still got turned around from the deep conversation.
Alas, we get to Urgent Care. He asks to take a used water bottle. It’s all his. I give him a box of old mints. We enter the facilities and I point him a water fountain to fill up our water bottles. I am at reception.
Reception took a while but Jeremy took longer. He was in the bathroom. I heard washing but, I dare not enter. Shortly, he came out with the water bottles informing me his hands are clean.
Reception told me to go to the Film Library. We entered the labyrinth of the facility. And after some unfortunate misleads we find the Film Library.
A woman passes by and informs us that she may be out.
We find the Film Library. Door closed. Light on. Knock knock. silence. “There’s no one there,” said Jeremy.
“Try again,” I urged and knocks Jeremy does. Nada. Nilch. Frustrated we went to the nearby vending machines. Offered him a snack. “I have a couple singles. Want a dollar? I’ll get you something.” He insisted I didn’t.
A woman passes by. “Do you have access to the FIlm Library?” said I.
“Try Medical Records. They are connected.” We go down the hall.
Yes! Some people. They did not have access to the Film Library.
I see another woman. “Can you page Film Library?”
“It’s 4:30, she went home,” she insisted. It was 4:23.
“She has kids to drive home, a house to feed, during the day she takes the regular breaks and eats the meals, a busy woman.” said this woman.
We retreat to the car.
At this point Jeremy wanted to go back to his highway exit and he needed a sign, for upon my arrival he totally forgot to bring it.
I seek supplies in my trunk. Very valuable things in there, Nothing of use.
“Before I go I will show you the Church and you can be on your way, Onstar? Proceed.” said I.
Onstar took forever. FOREVER.
I hang up. “ You know what I’ll take you to the Bridge. But here is a copy of my scriptures, Yeah I am Mormon. But you read this when you have time. You read this when you are bored. If you do remember me. If you happen to remember me. Remember me for this book.”
Onstar directs me to the bridge. We get turned around again. At this point, Jeremy was getting anxious. As we drive along, I offer a slue of ideas for cardboard, marker, and food. He insisted we go to the Bridge.
A block away my mind gets uneasy. This poor man has given such precious time with me, what can I do for him? I had 3 singles and 2 twenties. A choice between 3 dollars and a twenty.
My mother works hard for money. Yesterday she denied $5 to a gambling woman, who wanted money. “When she has much to give she blows it all away, why should I give her my money?”
I respect my mother’s words very dearly. It was a hard choice. Jeremy received $20.
ST. Matthew 25:45-46
“Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.
And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: But the righteous into the eternal.”
It’s decision time.
“You are to use this for food and water. That is it and NOTHING else.” I spake.
Surprise. Unexplainable gratitude. We are less than a block away. I tell him it’s time to go.
“I never got your number,” Jeremy humbly asks.
I rustle up a scratch piece of paper. He offered to use the BofM to write on. I passed him the scratch piece of paper and pen.
I recite the number. And he jots it down.
We shake hands. “God bless” bids Jeremy.
I think of Jeremy now. I have prepared a list of goods for him to take in which he can use to prepare for a job. Razor, backpack, deodorant, Big art marker. Glasses. Money for Haircut.
And Now I wonder did Jeremy write the number on the scratch piece of paper or the Book of Mormon.
Where did his agency lie?
Dear Heavenly Father, I pray for Jeremy. Thank ye for the moments we shared, the trek we partook. Bless Jeremy that he might have the kindling of faith, that he might humble himself to exercise faith, and experiment the Book of Mormon. I pray that he might think of me in times of need and that my number will be his answer to today’s misfortunes. I pray of these things in the name of my Master, Jesus the Christ, your only begotten, Amen.