Monday, April 5, 2010

Fall Short

This morning before heading to church for Easter Sunday Service, I had a memory relapsed.

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!

I called Andrew a few years ago. His number had been disconnected.....

I still pray for Andrew from time to time....

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