What a homeless man taught me on Christmas morning

The original post appeared on The Messy Middle, January 4, 2017

When we truly “seek and serve Christ in all persons,” (see the Book of Common Prayer, 305) when we behave in a way that reveals we truly “love our neighbor as ourselves,” we open ourselves to the Christ meeting us and teaching us in ways we never expected. This is a story to make that point for you and me.

Amy, author and editor of The Messy Middle blog recounts her Christmas morning experience in a way that encourages us to live into our Baptismal Covenant as we “grow up,” as we become more mature Christ-followers.

I encourage you to read the whole post. As Amy recounts her sister’s ministry on Christmas Morning she counsels:

the Holy Spirit is so creative and in love with people, I believe you will get a stirring in your soul as your read this. Just start with small steps.

Then Amy comes to the most amazing moment of that Christmas morning:

[Donald, the homeless man] asked, “Are you praying people?”

We are. Would you pray for me? Of course. Elizabeth and I held Donald’s hands as #2 held the cream and sugar. Elizabeth prayed for him and then he asked if he could pray too. Please do!

Andrew Murray wrote the classic With Christ In The School Of Prayer. Donald was my teacher on Christmas morning as I entered another classroom in the School of Prayer. If I was homeless I think I’d pray for shelter, safety, warmth. I’d probably pray to be left alone by the police. I think I’d pray to be fed on a consistent basis. I might even pray to have more than a retaining wall to hang my clothes.

Donald, instead, prayed for Jesus to help him in character issues. He prayed a prayer you or I could have prayed. For Jesus to help him in areas such as stubbornness. I don’t want to share all he prayed because that feels voyeuristic; suffice it to say Donald didn’t concern himself with his earthy comfort. He prayed for who he is as a person.

What do you hear the Spirit saying to you?

Author: Daniel Rondeau

I am a husband and father and an Episcopal Priest (now retired) in the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego.

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