Sunday, August 6, 2017

Charlie- A Disgusting man loved by God

Everybody knew that old Charlie was a homeless vagabond. He trudged up and down the streets, at times in the middle, in his gray wool coat and blue stocking cap pulled down on his head. His gray hair was as short as the stubble on his face. It didn't matter what time of the year it was old Charlie dressed the same. All of Charlie's earthly belongs were kept in his red wagon, a Radio Flyer, that was given to him by some kind person.

We hadn't been in our ministry very long when we first met Charlie. We heard about and saw Charlie long before our first meeting. He came around the church on a pretty regular basis. There was always some food in the kitchen or fast food burgers in the freezer. Charlie knew he could eat at least once a day at our church. Well, when we met Charlie for the first time it was late August and still pretty warm. Charlie looked, and smelled, pretty bad, he was living up to his reputation.

Donna, being the kind heart that she was, looked at Charlie with compassion and love. Looking at him she was able to see past the coat, the smell, the dirt and the reputation. She saw a man loved by God, but only by a few people. After finding Charlie something to eat she asked him if he would like a shave and a haircut. He told her that he would really appreciate it if a pretty lady like her was to cut his hair. She led Charlie to the basement bathroom and I found a kit that contained a comb, shave cream and razor.

Donna trimmed Charlies hair and then his eyebrows, which looked more like bramble bushes than eyebrows. When she finished his eyebrows she asked if he would like her to trim his mustache. He told her that it would be nice because he hadn't been able to for a while. Well, what Charlie didn't tell Donna was that he chewed Red Man (tobacco) and it had been years since his mustache had been trimmed. You can just imagine what it was like when Donna ran the comb through Charlie's mustache and about two inches of it came out of his mouth. I had to find her two other combs to complete the task of the mustache trim.

There are unlovable people all around us. Contemporary lepers cross our paths and some of us turn our self-righteous faces away from them. The people that I shun might not be the same people that you would shun and so on and so forth. The fact of the matter is quite simple and plain: That is wrong and we are to love the Charlies of the world as much as we love our self. Jesus did not really give us a lot of options about who we should care about and who should be thrown aside.

God help me to see all people the way I should.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting article about the homeless man. Have you read this story about the homeless family.
    Think you might be interested