Saturday, April 17, 2010

More True Stories of Easter at Occidental Square in Seattle

Hi Ya’ll, I’m writing this after I just finished watching the last part of “We were Soldiers” with Mel Gibson. I’ve been hesitant about relating my experience especially after reading about such inspiring stories. After going through the food line I found a table with an empty seat and sat down wondering how to begin.

The discussion was lively; one elderly man who was in need of a second hip replacement, an “ex” marine whose name tag read “Chainsaw” (there really are no “ex” marines), and a young man who had just come to Seattle looking for work.

After a few people left we were joined by Curtis and his two lovely kids. The older gentleman told about how painful his hip was and how he had been postponing his second replacement. He also told about a son who had rejected him and had not seen him in years. I was apparent that this was more painful than his bad hips.

Curtis and I asked him if we could pray for him and he consented saying “I guess it can’t hurt anything.” After praying for healing for his hip problems and healing for his relationship with his son the old man got up and limped away. He did not seem too reassured.

Next we prayed for “Chainsaw,” he was very positive and thanked us for the dinner and prayer. I left him with the words “The Lord sometimes blesses us in strange ways,” and he wholeheartedly agreed. Afterwards we prayed for the young man who was looking for work; he was very grateful and felt uplifted.

This is where the story changes. At the table next to me was seated a young man who we all refer to as “Animal” and another young man who I believe was a friend or acquaintance. They were both loud, obnoxious, vulgar, and disrespectful.

I tried to talk to them and made a little headway with Animal’s friend but no such luck with Animal himself. I was having trouble partly due to my bad hearing but much more so because I fell into an attitude of anger and judgment. How could they be so disruptive and disrespectful of people who had given up their Easter Sunday to offer them a free meal and show them that they were cared for?

I’m not sure how things worked out for the two young men as the service came to an end and I got busy loading up things. I was very disappointed that I did not handle the situation better. Later that night(3:00A.M.) the Lord woke me up and chided me for the way I reacted to these young men and pointed out my mistakes.

Over the next few days with help from the HP team and my men’s study group I was reminded that those men were not the enemy; they were the ones I was supposed to be helping. The enemy here was Satan ,not these young men, they were his victims just as I had once been.

After watching the rest of “We were soldiers” I realized that what I had been involved in last Sunday was a war just as sure as Vietnam or the current conflict in Afghanistan and the other nations in that area.

We didn’t see bodies blown apart or blood flowing like water but we were in a battle for freedom; freedom from suffering, pain, sorrow, death and all the other things Satan has afflicted and attacked us with.

So after this particular battle was over I picked myself up off the ground, dusted myself off, licked my wounds and began to prepare for the next battle. I learned that the only way to learn how to minister is to minister. We learn from our mistakes and our failures but I know that in the end we will have the victory because we have the Everlasting Father as our Lord and King. Mel

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