Validated Valedictorian in the Lord

Praise God! He loves my church, he protects my church! Hallelujah! My God is good and his favor is upon us! Amen!

Lord I thank you for my trials and tribulations. You have taken me to some off the chain – Job level adversity and I praise God that this is legit the first exam where I trusted you 101% wavering never, but responding to my circumstance with immense joy via praise.

A mighty thing was done – through the example you allowed me to be, I was able to prove the workers of iniquity incorrect. That there is nothing that could convince me to curse my Lord and die. Nah, to God be the Glory.

Because I trusted you. Loved you. Complained and bickered not, you have blessed me, blessed those who I love, blessed my church and I am thankful for the opportunity to serve.

There is rest in the Lord, for now. I will discard the old armor, weathered and beaten down by battle. I will upgrade my barriers – this time a little thicker, more fortified for I am wiser, more forgiving, more faithful.

Your praises and good works shall continually spill from my praise. Your spirit in me shall continue to reverberate and touch others.

Lord I thank you for this season. I thank you for the winter delayed so that I may see the snow a few final times before the sun scorches up the helpmate of atonement.

I will honor you with my life. With my thoughts. With my visions that shall dictate my ambitions.

For you are a good and your mercy endures forever. Glory be the God – your counsel continues to grief our obedience. To God be the Glory, up, up, up we raise you.

Amen.

Inheriting the heart of God

Church bound on the 2 train this morning, I recognized a homeless man I knew personally, Mr. Michael Catman. I know this man because I have personally advocated for his release from jail (several times) while working in Manhattan Arraignments. The homeless man stretched his feet across the subway car, the man without a home, making himself at home, began to litter as he completed his food. I became displeased at his littering so I turned my full attention on him shouting,

“Aye, stop littering Catman!”

This man was unmoved by my reproach. Though I personally knew him, had aided him from prison several times, loved him and called him by name. He didn’t honor me with a mere flinch. He continued to litter.

In that moment, I had inherited the heart of God. This man who had rejected me, though I comforted him and loved him continued to yet reject me. Though I offered him peace, via drug rehabilitation, access to shelter, food, clothing he yet continued to reject me. Like so many lost I will never reach, he had no interest in God’s gospel and had made himself comfortably at home in misery.

And nonetheless I yet loved this man. I still cared for him. Still wanted him delivered from the work of Satan who mocked me by waving God’s child before my face. I was angered not – lest the bridge between his heart and mine become shattered and unable to deliver him back home. God’s Love is truly unconditional.

As the train continued to speed past space and time I recognized a second homeless man. This man I knew not personally, unable to call him directly by name, I called out to his soul nonetheless,

“Ay, good morning Mr!”

He smiled back lovingly with a shock that suggested he was unprepared for me to remember nor speak to him. So I proceeded to call him out.

“I thought you told me you would say hey when you saw me and not be fake, how are you?”

The second homeless man brimming with joy began to engage excitedly, most of which I couldn’t hear because he was so far away from me on a crowded train.

How often have we strayed from God – returned briefly and excitedly to engage in prayer with a God that can barely hear us because we are too far away?

But though unable to hear with my earthly ears I yet listened with my heart and my eyes and I equated this good parable as the tale of two relationships with the Lord.

How God knocks and knocks and knocks wanting to fill us with full faith and prosperity – some of too disobedient to answer his calling and others of us – so hungry and eager for his presence.

Before the second homeless man departed from the train I told him that I loved him and in my doing so – we both were blessed.

The first homeless man whom I knew but rejected me – departed the train without communing – leaving his blessing to be received by another man.

Let us be mindful of the living God that lives and breathes in each of us. Remembering we are witnesses to Christ – so we may bring the homeless back home to Christ.

Amen.