It was back in Winter '06 and Spring '07 when I was leading the young career fellowship.
There was a gentleman name Andrew. He was a bit off. Didn't get along with anyone.
There was one night where he made a comment to all the females in the fellowship that was way off. We knew he had a mental problem. But not exactly sure.
I didn't know his background. He lives with his parents and from what I gathered, they were wealthy. He lived in a penthouse. Never worry about work.
One day Andrew gave me a call. He was at the laundry mat with all his stuff. His parents kicked him out.
I didn't know what to believe. He had mental problems.
Is he really saying the truth? Is he lying?
This was taken place during winter. It was cold. He was in a desperate situation. Without thinking much, I drove over.
There he was. With a backpack and a bag with all his clothes. That night, my fellowship was gathering at a Chinese restaurant and I brought Andrew along. We pretended nothing happen.
I did my best to tell a brother and a sister in my fellowship about the situation. They didn't know what to do. I pulled them aside and told them, "let the Holy Spirit lead and if you want to give a few bucks to help him out, do it."
Since he didn't had a place to stay, I drove down to the nearest hotel and drop him off. I didn't had time to find a cheap motel or cheap rates. The matter was urgent and Andrew needed a place to stay.
I put down my credit card and told Andrew that he can pay me back later.
I still remember how I felt.
I am going to drop one hundred and something bucks for this guy. What about me, Lord? You see how tight my money situation is. I am already barely enough to have my teeth fix and pay bill (and train!).
I didn't give much thought to it. I told him stay here for two nights (up to Saturday).
Andrew was very thankful. He kept saying, "don't worry, Cliff. I will pay you back. I have a lot of money in the bank. I own you one."
I picked him up on Saturday. I suggested Andrew to stay one more night then head to church on Sunday. He didn't what that and didn't know what to do. I dropped him back to the laundry mat.
On Sunday, he gave me a call. He was on the street. He needed a ride and I picked him off a major intersection. It was snowing and he had a little suitcase with him. I remembered picking up that suitcase and in haste dumped it in the back seat. Because of the snow from the roller on the suitcase, I thought it ruined my car seat. I cursed.
Andrew heard it and apologize. By then I was ticked off.
I asked him where did he want to go.
I am tired of being his chauffeur. If he had the money, why didn't he use it?
At that moment, he gave me cash for the hotel. I dropped him off at the subway.
A few weeks gone by. Andrew called me. He told me he was in a shelter somewhere in Scarborough, a 40 min drive from my city. I asked him if he could speak to his parents and reconcile. He didn't want to.....
That was the last time I heard from Andrew....
I didn't know why I thought about him today. Of all the things that happened, I know I fall short.
I was so blinded by my own needs I couldn't see the dire situation Andrew was in. I could have go and talk to his parents (I never met them before but I could have try). Who gives a rip about a car seat when there is a brother that is living on the street?....
I fall short.
Since the last time I heard from Andrew, I learnt about Acts 2 church and sharing with brothers and sisters in Christ (Acts 2:45), the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37), and the parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-31)...all will go to waste if I just know it in my head but not in my heart.
It is sad and painful when looking back and realize I should have done more. I just pray to the Lord that these painful memories is etch forever in my heart. So that my faith and my action works together (James 2:14-26).
Lord, may I do what Your Words say and not just listen to them.May I not just grow in knowledge and become self righteous and live in an ivory tower.
I thank you for when I fall short, You are still the Sovereign Lord who is merciful and loving kindness to defend those who are weak.Mold my heart so that I will become a man that stares his face in the mirror and walk away remembering how he looks like.A man that only seeks Your Kingdom and Your Righteousness.A man who looks intently at the perfect law.The perfect law that gives freedom and life!
Ala James 1:19-25
I called Andrew a few years ago. His number had been disconnected.....
I still pray for Andrew from time to time....