I am one very lucky man. God seems to keep putting people into my life to help make me a better person. But this post is not about me either.
My spiritual brother is Paul Darby. I can honestly say that nobody in my life leaves me scratching my head in amazement more than Paul. His company is thriving, and he is experiencing the blessings of the Lord in a big way. He is rolling out what he calls the “Wealth 2007 Project”, and he asked me if I would go into downtown Dallas with him and shoot some video of homeless people. A part of his project is showing the difference between people with a financial plan for success, and those without one. But this post is not about Paul.
We met a man on the street named Larry Brown. Here is the video we shot.
What you can’t see is the fact that after the camera quit rolling, we continued talking to Larry. He admitted that he was a pastor of a church with a wife and children. So why was he living on the streets away from his family and church? Two words: crack cocaine! We prayed for him right out in the open, he wept, shuddered, and spirits of drug addiction moved. He left a free man filled with joy and a new found sense of restoration and opportunity.
Two weeks later I received a call at 3:10 AM on a Sunday morning. It was Larry. He was in a horrible place, needed food, shelter, and a ride. I drove 45 minutes to south Dallas to pick him up. He was in a train station because he was kicked out of the local V.A. hospital. He was homeless, penniless, stinky, and desperate. As we drove him out of that part of town, this grown man cried like a baby. But this post is not about that night.
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery”. Galatians 5:1 (NIV)
“And when people escape from the wickedness of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and then get tangled up and enslaved by sin again, they are worse off than before. It would be better if they had never known the way to righteousness than to know it and then reject the command they were given to live a holy life. They prove the truth of this proverb: “A dog returns to its vomit.” And another says, “A washed pig returns to the mud.” 2 Peter 2:20-22 (New Living Translation)
Why did Larry return to the bondage he was set free from to a life which he abhors? I’ll never know. But one thing I DO know: I saw a lot of myself in Larry. And I know that many times I have settled for a life that is far less than what Jesus has in mind for me.
If He came that we might have life, and have it more abundantly, why do we not claim it…and live it?
If you read this, please say a prayer for Larry Brown. May the Good Shepherd leave the 99 and go after the one lost sheep.