Yesterday was an emotional roller coaster for me. I have spent the last two weeks investing in a man’s life here in Atlanta. He is homeless, but says he wants a fresh run at life. He used to be in inside sales, and have a “good” life as we measure it culturally, and by societal standards, but life started unravelling for him a few years ago, and ended with him on the street.
Over the last couple of weeks I have been loving him, and gospeling him in a way that he could not even comprehend because he says his own family has not ever shown him genuine love. I was really starting to see some progress, and had even gotten him into a transitional facility, then three days ago he disappeared. Just vanished, no calls, nothing.
One o’clock yesterday afternoon I receive a three way call from the crisis help line, and it is him, and they have called me to help talk him off the edge. At some point in the last three days he hit a wall, and it culminated with him standing on the edge of the overpass of interstate 285 about to jump into traffic, and end his life, and possibly the person who’s car he jumped in front of.
For some reason, in the middle of his despair he decided to get off the bridge and call the crisis hot-line, I can only believe it was the holy spirit. For some reason he decided to have them call me because he said he loved and trusted me, and wanted to say goodbye to me, I can only believe that was the implications of the gospel, working themselves out in a moment in time.
Nearly an hour we went back and forth about why he should live, versus why he should die. He cried, I cried, the crisis line lady cried as well. It was emotionally and spiritually exhausting…but this is what front lines missional ministry looks like in the city. You journey with people, even to the brink of destruction. And it costs, but the cost is well worth it for what was paid by Christ so that we could pay this meager cost of giving our lives in serving Him, and being a part of His mission to seek and to save.
Today Gary lives, at least another day, so that the gospel can continue to work in his life. Pray that God give me the strength to continue to journey with him, as Christ draws him to Himself.