I wrote this last week. I’ve since realized that when I write, I need to publish soon after too, otherwise it just sits. And the longer it sits, the longer that nasty voice of resistance has to convince me not to hit publish.
I appreciate everyone who has been reading the blog after it’s rebirth from silence. I also appreciate those of you that have commented and encouraged my writing this week too. I need that
Jess is teaching at YWAM Honolulu this week. She’s teaching three, 3 hour lectures on the Gospel of John. I’m so proud of her. Right before we left to come out here she taught at the YWAM Nashville base in their Bible Core Course and taught 12 hours on Genesis and Deuteronomy. At the end of last year she did a week long overview of the prophets in the Summit Training Center in Dalton Georgia. Pretty much my wife is a Bible Rockstar And I’m so proud of her.
Jess got home a little before I had to leave last night for the Waikiki homeless outreach. Interesting how again this week I had to fight through not wanting to go. Im pretty sure my body even played along this time as I had a tinge of a stomach ache. As I sat at my desk comtimplating excuses to not go and I reflect on it this morning, these thoughts come to mind: love moves, love sacrifices and love pushes through hard things.
I drove down to Waikiki and found parking near where I did last week and walked to the first pavilioin. As I approached a crosswalk I watched a man start to wobble on his bike and then fall over. He looked like his bike was pinned on him but he scrambled out. There was female jogger that crossed right before me that asked him if he was okay, and a female jogger jogging towards us that stopped too. The first jogger picked up his bike and asked him if he was okay. “Man, your bike is heavy.” And I reached to take it from her thinking it was just a normal bike. I didn’t position my body well and was trying to take the bike from her and promptly dropped it again, luckily not on the man, it really was heavy. The jogger continued on her jog after watching me drop the bike.
“Where’s the kickstand?” The other jogger asked. “If you stand the bike up I can put the kick stand down.” She said.
I picked the bike back up by it’s handle bars and suddenly the bike shot up in the air. Luckily I had a good grip as it yanked me and fell to the ground again. “Woah, this bike has a motor.” I said.
The jogger unimpressed with my second time dropping the bike snarkily and exapsperatedly said “well, I think you got this” and jogged off.
The man is hobbling on one leg and then sits/falls to the ground. We end up getting the bike up on a kickstand.
“Are you drunk?” I asked him. Not sure why I was being so forward. He had dark sunglasses on.
No, he said in a tone that seem bewildered why I would ask such a question.
I picked up his open package of crackers and sat them on his bike bag. I asked him if he was good and went to the pavillion. I told him we were handing out pizza at the first pavillion if he wanted to come.
Cindy was there and I gave her a hug. There were some YWAMers there too, one I recongized, but I don’t know if I’ve ever met him officially. I didn’t know anyone else. Perry wasn’t there. Maybe Perry turned himself in.
RK came with the pizzas, carrying them on a stroller as his son Roger tagged behind him. His wife and two daughters came later. RK announced who he was and what they were doing down there and said a quick prayer. Some tourists jumped out of their seats at the bench overlooking the water trying to figure out what was going on. Kelike and I talked for a bit and I felt the need to go back and check on bike guy. I told her briefly what happened and she chuckled.
I walked past the volleyball courts and saw 2 bikes standing up now near the crosswalk. Another man had stopped and was trying to help bike guy get back on his bike. It wasn’t working.
I got over to them and asked what was going on. The new helper guy told me what I already knew, that bike guy wrecked. “I wish I had a car, I would give him a ride.”
I have a car I thought quickly to myself, but I don’t think I’m giving this guy a ride.
Bike guy said he felt like something popped in his leg and was in a lot of pain. He was balancing on his one foot leaning against the bike.
“Well let me pray for you, what’s your name?”
“Shelton.” He replied
I said a quick prayer for healing and then asked him if he felt any better.
“No, I mean kinda, maybe.”
No miracle healing story tonight folks sorry.
I asked him what happened, and he said that he rode off the sidewalk and then tried to get back on to fast.
Around that time in the conversation a guy on a skateboard skates past us with a surf board in his left hand and a boogie board in his right hand. “Man, I should have gotten an e-bike instead of a skateboard man.” He shouted to bike guy.
I marveled at the fact that this shirtless white guy really was on a skate board, I think in bare feet, with a surfboard in one hand and a boogie board in the other. Anyway…
Other helper biker guy had taken off by now. So it’s just me and Shelton. He told me he called someone to come pick him up, and told me about the pain again. I asked him if he wanted me to call an ambulance and he reitereated that someone was going to pick him up and take him to the hospital.
“Man this bike is pretty cool” My awkward attempt at small talk, which I’m amazing it. “How fast can you get this thing going?
“I think I’ve gotten it up to about 25mph.” He replied with a smile, obviously proud of his e-bike.
“Do you wanna sit down?”
A seeming long akward pause of silence. It probably wasn’t that bad though.
“Well, is there anything else I can do for you?”
“Nope.” He replied.
“Alright man, have a good night.” And I walked back to the pavillion.
I feel like I just lived through a modern telling of the good samiritan, only I don’t know who the good samiritan was.
Now that I think about it, I’m not even sure the guy was homeless, he said he was going to Palolo and had over a thousand dollar bike. Man, don’t assume.
By the time I got back to the pavillion the pizza had all been handed out. Not many people were mingling. If I remember correctly a few years ago a lot more people would actually hang out after they were done eating.
RK was talking to Bucko, one of RK’s helpers and another guy who I think is homeless. Discipleship was happening just through conversation. RK was sharing what he had been reading in the Bible recently about dillegence. And then he showed us an app that lets you know all of your neighbors names, and how he was using it to pray for all of his neighbors.
I watched a group of 3 late teens/early twenties kids sit down on a bench. Bucko has a “I once was blind.” tag hanging around his neck. (Which in my need of Jesus judgemental mind I found kind of cheesy.)
The group of teens called Bucko over, “Excuse me sir, sir? Can you tell me what that means?” Pointing to the tag hanging around his neck.
I observed, thinking they were going to laugh and make fun of him. They didn’t. I couldn’t hear the conversation real well, but I’m sure that Bucko took that oppourtunity to share the gospel with them. I was waiting for them to start laughing, they didn’t, they sat attentivly while he spoke. “That’s cool” I heard one of them say.
I headed back to my car, the sun was setting. What a absolutely beautiful place. Waikiki. I took notice of all the different nationalities that were on the sidewalk. Realizing that Hawaii really is a strategic place. That people from all over the world come here and then return home.
I walked past a guy who was walking in the same direction. Shuffling his feet as he walked, towel wrapped around him. I could sense that he was sad, and I felt like God highlighted him to me.
This is why immediate obedience is best obedience. I could have easily and not awkwardly said something to him as I passed him, but I didn’t. What if he rejects what I say and gets mad at me or something. So I walked past him, realizing I was more concerned about the possibility of rejection than whatever God could do. I was more concerned about me in that situation and how the possibility of a bad outcome might affect me than the concern for this kid whos body language obviously showed that something was going on.
I kept walking, now realizing it was going to be even more awkward if I turned around and walked back up to him. All the time knowing that I should have talked to him. I got in my car and drove away and missed a divine appointment.
“Hey man, you doing good?” Could have been all I had to say to get the conversation flowing and get a guage for where the guy was at. But I chickened out.
I get anxious if I’m out in public and feel like I need to talk to everyone. I’ve seen people that feel like they have to pray for every single person they run into everywhere they go. And MAYBE that is what God’s doing. Or maybe that’s striving.
But how do I prepare myself for when I know it’s God saying to say hey to someone. A quick word of concern for someone to a stranger in public isn’t that weird.
Some people are gifted evangelists. In my few interactions with Bucko, I think he is. I am not a gifted evangelist. But that doesn’t remove our call to evangelise. To introduce people to Jesus, to pray for them.
I feel like I’m getting freed up a lot in this season. It’s not my resposibility to have all the answers, just introduce people to Jesus who loves them. Then Jesus can do the heavy lifting. I don’t need to make anything happen, God will show up, He’s faithful.
Dang this one got long. Remind me to practice talking to people in public. It goes against every fiber of my east coast introverted upbringing.
I share these outreach fails with you because I think what stops us from doing “outreach” is thinking we have to feel excited to do it, or be good at it before we do it.
I do ministry for a living, and have over a decade of experience doing this stuff and honestly I’m still not good at it, I still don’t want to go when it’s time to go, and I miss oppourtunities that God is setting up because I’m afraid.
So if you’re as unqualified as I am but are sensing that God wants to get you out of the holy huddle then hit the streets and love somebody and introduce them to Jesus.