“I know I’m not crazy, but I knew you were coming over today. I knew it was you knocking on the door.”
These are the words of my neighbor, Kyle [name changed]. In his own words, he’s a former tough guy who earned respect on the street through his actions. He was proud of the fact that people would cross over to the other side of the street to avoid meeting him. I met him under much different circumstances.
Late Summer, there was a mother shot outside a local convenience store. The Holy Spirit impressed on our hearts to begin praying with the workers and customers of this store as a sign of His Love and Peace for this community. This led to my meeting Cheri [name changed]. Cheri wanted some extra prayer and assistance and took a prayer card with my name and number on them. We’ve been in touch a few times over the past months, but nothing major.
Thanksgiving weekend, I get a late phone call from Kyle who happens to be Cheri’s boyfriend. He was cleaning the house and happened across the card I gave to Cheri. Kyle’s daughter had just been murdered out of state and he was broken. As he relayed his story, he admitted that he needed help and wanted to surrender his life to Christ. Over the phone and in his own words, this former enforcer yielded his heart to Jesus and let Him in for the first time.
We meet again
Due to the funeral and travel expenses, Kyle and Cheri fell behind on their rent. I made a short appeal on Facebook and within the hour, their rent was covered by the amazing generosity of Christ loving friends (and acquaintances). Several others offered to help with Christmas gifts, without even knowing the details of their situation. This greatly encouraged their hearts.
I stopped by on a Wednesday last week to walk with Cheri to pay off her rent. Afterward, I was able to sit with the 2 of them together and re-explain the Gospel as well as deliver a Bible and other readings. We read John 3 together, and as we closed with prayer I noticed the countenance on Cheri’s face change and she appeared to be smiling for the first time since I met her in August.
I returned on a Friday to drop off some gifts. I was just planning to drop them off and leave. As I knocked, Kyle shouts out, “Who is it!…Oh, give me a minute…I got to put something on.”
After a few minutes, he opens the door and the smell of weed hits me hard. In my mind, I’m thinking critical thoughts like “oh…you gave your life to Jesus, huh? Stop sinning, dude!”
He sits back down in his chair to watch more COPS, but turns his attention to me and relays his life story. His daughter was special and precious to him and he’s hurting from this loss. He wants to live right, but can’t seem to make it on his own. He knows what he wants to do and how he wants to live, but feels powerless to do it.
Over the course of the next hour or so, we read through Romans 6,7,8 together and the Holy Spirit begins to FILL the weedy air with His Presence. In tears, Kyle confesses “This is exactly what I’m feeling!” and begins taking notes on the scripture.
“Did you plan to say this stuff before you came over? I knew you were coming over today…I knew it was you knocking on the door. I called out to God for help last night…I know I’m not crazy, but this is so insane!”
I am continually amazed by the power of the Holy Spirit. Kyle was visibly touched and marked by God’s Presence. I had no plans or means to help this family, but God did. I had no plans to meet with Kyle this day, but apparently God did. It’s amazing that simple obedience to Jesus produces fruit. None of this story came from any of my own effort. It was all manufactured by a loving God who sees our weakness and enjoys our little steps towards him in faith.
He is a rewarder of those who do good and who earnestly seek Him. [Heb 11:6]
I’m humbled by God’s kindness. He is willing to meet people while they are getting high and watching COPS. Kyle isn’t a ‘straightened out saint’, but He knows without a doubt that there is a God in Heaven who loves Him very much. How does he know this? Because he met him. Through the generosity of others? Yes, of course! AND through His Presence! His presence changes everything!!!
His kindness leads us to repentance and His kindness never stops.
Thank you all who made this story possible. Thanks to all who pray for us on this journey. Please continue to pray for Kyle and Cheri. We are not unaware of the enemy’s schemes, and usually after an encounter like this Satan will pile stuff on this family to snuff out the Light and bring confusion, fear and doubt. However, we have weapons too! They’re not carnal weapons, but they are spiritual weapons. They have devine power to pull down strongholds and push back darkness. Please pray for more encounters with Kyle and Cheri. Please pray protection over their family. Pray that these seeds would spread and produce fruit 30, 60, 100 times over!
We couldn’t be doing any of this without you! God bless!!!