Sometimes, When You’re Late

October 28, 2021

Sometimes, when you’re late you’re actually just on time with what God had planned all along.  This morning, as I drove to The Father’s Heart, I was not happy with myself for not being “on time” to a meeting.  I had been working from home, making arrangements for one of our guests that was just getting out of the hospital. I jumped in my car and headed to TFH.  As I approached the Day Center, I noticed that the car in front of me was a Milwaukie Police car.

It was then I knew that God was up to something.  I pulled in to the parking lot just after the police car pulled in.  Met by a nice officer, I asked her if she had brought someone for us to help.  “I brought her here hoping you could help her.  She’s very sweet, but is going through some very difficult times.”  The officer began to explain that she had been in and out of DV situations and was currently coming down from Meth.

As I inquired more about the situation, I learned she was unable to stay. I asked for a moment to run inside and get this young women some things to help her. Soon, I returned with pants, a warm coat, underwear, socks, and some sack lunches.  When I presented her with what I had to offer her, she began sobbing and telling me “thank you.”  I put my arms around her and told her how much God loved her and that He could see her.  I was trying to convey to her that she was not forgotten nor unimportant, when she looked up at me and said, “I don’t want Him to see me, not like this. I don’t deserve His grace.”

I saw how she was so full of shame.  It broke my heart. I was able to share with her that one of the wonderful things about God is that He loves us right where we are at. I put my arm around her and explained that He wants to put His arm around you and walk with you.  “He’s not pointing a finger at you to tell you all the things you do wrong.  He loves you so much.  Can I pray for you?”

Soon after I prayed for her, I told her that I hoped that I would see her again and that it was a “God thing” that the two of us met in the parking lot.  “It’s why we are here, sweetheart.  We’re here to send the message that God loves you right where you’re at and wants to walk with you.”

All this happened before we had even opened our doors.  Later, I was called to the reception area, because someone else wanted more prayer.  She was suffering from a fractured back.  Her and her husband came to the area seeking employment and were involved in a car accident.  The accident left them with no car and her with a fractured back.  There first night sleeping unsheltered, her purse and jacket were stolen.  It was just too much to bare.

So we prayed.  We asked God for strength and to keep us from becoming angry or bitter when things seemed to be going so wrong.

This and more needs came pouring through our doors today, as we served close to 80 guests. This was all possible with the help of our volunteers and faithful financial support of our donors.  It took volunteers serving meals, showers, clothing, donors bringing in their donation items, staff making phone calls, and another volunteer cutting hair.  Some were mopping others were sanitizing.  All of us came together for four hours.

Thank you for making it possible for us to keep our doors open to the underserved and under-loved in community.