Grace and Truth

…all the words of this life…


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Wisdom From my Homeless Friend Shaz

“You tell me this”, said Shaz* as we sat over coffee, “You tell me: if there was a homeless person lying in the gutter, would it be a Christian or a druggie that stopped and helped him?  It would be the druggie every time.”

The parable of the Good Samaritan came to mind.  And I knew she was right.

I said “I agree with you Shaz.”

That stopped her for a second.

We had met for a coffee, but when we got there she refused to have one. Said she’s not paying that amount for a coffee.  I offered to buy her one but she refused that as well.  So I drank my coffee and she sat opposite me with nothing.  Instead she had the sugar bowl.  With a spoon she stirred and stirred as she spoke.  The constant stirring was mesmerising and I had to tear my eyes away from it.  Also it was easier than looking in to her tormented eyes the whole time.

But when I agreed with her, she stopped stirring for a second and said,

“Ha – we agree on something. What do we do now?”

Shaz’s and my relationship isn’t an easy one.  To be honest, I have no idea how to handle her.  And that’s something I constantly say to the Lord, believe me.

Before Shaz, I thought I was pretty experienced with all sorts of people.  When we had our home church for the outcasts there were times where we had seven heroin addicts sitting around our table at once for lunch.  We have had neo-nazi’s in our home, murderers, profoundly mentally disturbed people, lonely people, homeless ones, ice addicts, people I met while street preaching, whoever God sent.  They were difficult and God always gave us grace for each one.

I first met Shaz in March.  I preached at the homeless mission in the city and she was there.  Full of anger, bitterness, hard, cold as anything, she told me what her father had done to her from a terribly young age.  She asked me how God could forgive someone like that if he repented.  And why would she want to go to a place (heaven) where that animal might possibly be? She spat at me that nobody has been able to help her, even Christians.

As I listened to her story my heart broke.  And she was right too, I didn’t know how to help her. What the heck do I say to this woman who had been so wounded by the one who should have protected her?  ‘Oh God’, I cried out in my heart, ‘help me!  I don’t know what to do! I don’t know what to say to her.’

I didn’t know what to do, so I just put my arms around her little body, my head on her shoulder and cried.  I sobbed. I said I am so, so sorry that this happened to you and I was. I cried and cried as she stood there silent, as stiff as a board while I wet her shoulder with my tears.

Then she moved away from me and I heard her swearing and cursing as she left.  I said to God that I am sorry I failed.  I couldn’t get through to her and I had no idea how to help her.

Two weeks later she was back at the mission.

She came over to me and said roughly, “the compassion you showed me that other night saved my life.  I was going to go home and neck myself but after I met you I didn’t want to anymore.”

Then she swore and cursed Christians and left.

And pretty much that has been our relationship since.  She clings to me, she pushes me away.  She seeks me out, she runs and hides.  Like a puppy who’s been abused and is scared of being hurt again.  One time she came up behind me at the mission and hugged me.  She literally clung to me.  The anointing and love of the Holy Spirit came upon me so strongly that I just cried and prayed in tongues while I hugged her back.  And she clung and clung.  Then she ran out of the building.

As we sat at coffee that morning she cursed and called me a hypocrite. Everything I said to her was wrong, and she told me off the whole time.  It was exhausting.

I left feeling like I had failed, yet there was an inexplicable joy in my spirit.

Two days later in the mail I got a card from Shaz in child-like, painstakingly neat handwriting saying that she can’t tell me this to my face but I am the only true friend she has ever had and that she loves me.

She said she doesn’t know how to be with “normal” people and that is why she hangs out with the street-people.

I cry for these ones. These ones who haven’t known love.

Not long after this we visited a local Baptist church, a good and decent church we sometimes go to.  The pastor explained that they want to build a bigger auditorium to be able to seat more people at once to cut down on the number of services over weekends.  To do this they are raising $2 million to replace the perfectly good auditorium they already have.  I looked around and I knew that they would get that $2 million.

I cry for the church.

 

 

*not her real name

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The Media is Missing the Point of Israel Folau’s GoFundMe Page

Once again the media and the elites are missing the point of the Israel Folau case, and in particular, his GoFundMe page.

Honestly you would think they would have learnt something from the “shock” result of the recent Australian election…

Israel Folau’s case has become huge in Australia. An extremely talented rugby player, Folau was recently sacked by Rugby Australia for posting this on his personal Instagram account :

Israel Folau’s Insta postHis refusal to take it down at their behest led to him being sacked and having his $4million contract torn up. Many believe that Rugby Australia’s sacking of Folau was in large part due to the placating of their biggest sponsor, Qantas, which is run by gay activist CEO, Alan Joyce.

Now Folau has announced he will take his sacking to the Fair Work Commission and a couple of days ago started a GoFundMe page to raise the money to fight his legal battle.

The media’s unrelenting bias against Folau is obvious to anyone who has been following his case. To date I have not seen one article that has not been skewed against him. And of course the elites are Tweeting in condemnation of his recent donation request, branding it “sickening”, ”hypocrisy” and that we “should be ashamed” of ourselves for donating to his cause.

Yet… it seems like no one is really listening. Their constant stream of vitriol against him has the tinge of desperation to it as his GoFundMe fund grows by the minute.

This case is now taking on a life of its own and they can do nothing to stop it. And boy do they hate that.

The GoFundMe page is a stroke of brilliance in Folau’s case. Of course, he has every right to start one up, just as everybody has the right not to donate to it if they don’t want to. But as his fund continues to grow, it bears witness to the silent Australian who, compared to the media, has no voice. We are a laid-back people and it takes a lot to get us in to the streets protesting. But, just like in the recent election, this is one way we can make our voices heard.  I think Israel’s case has crossed a line for many people, including non-Christians. For if a man can lose his job and his livelihood for expressing his personal beliefs, what does that mean for the rest of us? Where will this lead?

So for us Aussies, as we give to Folau’s fund, we are saying something to the media and the elites who for too long have been telling us how we ought to think.

We are saying stop misrepresenting what is really going on, and to back off from our personal freedoms. We are saying we care about the freedom of religion and the freedom to express it. We are using this to protest the growing fanaticism of political correctness in this country.

To those of us who care about personal freedom, Israel Folau’s case has become something of a symbol for the fight for freedom from the tyranny of the media, the LGBT mafia and the virtue signalling of the Left of politics. In fact Israel now is becoming something of a champion or standard-bearer, if you will, for freedom of speech.

To prove my point here are some of the names people are using to donate to Folau’s fund :

Freedom Speech

William Wallace

Media blatantly doing everything they can to sabotage Izzy #media is a joke

Religious Freedom

Media is Clueless not Folau

I don’t care if Israel Folau is a billionaire. This is all our fight. With my hard earned $50 I stand.

So, and this is the brilliance of it all, as the media and the elites try every angle and manipulation in their articles and tweets in an attempt to stop the juggernaut that has become his GoFundMe page, it is only serving to highlight and compound the reason for the necessity for this fight in the first place.

And silently the fund grows.

So keep going media, keep on Tweeting celebrities, keep attacking Israel! Because it seems there is no better way to keep the donations rolling in.

 

So far his fund is at $541,485.00

https://au.gofundme.com/israel-folau-legal-action-fund