Lately his face keeps popping into my head.
Maybe it’s because his photo is still on my phone.
Or, maybe God desires me to remember what a special relationship we had.
I’m not sure why, but I’m appreciating the memories.
I had watched this young man grow from a rowdy teenager living on the streets, to a young man searching the ways of God.
I remember the day we sat across the table from each other. He shared with me many things troubling him. I remember asking if I could pray for him. I wrote about this encounter in January 2012…
We sat down and talked Tuesday morning. He shared with me some things that were troubling him. For the first time, he allowed me to pray with him! I couldn’t believe it! He reached across the table to hold my hands as we began to pray. Afterwards he said, “I could feel the anger inside of me leave my body when you prayed.” His face looked relieved. He then said, “I’m not used to hearing people say nice things about me like you did in your prayer. Thank you.” Wow…I saw in his eyes for the very first time something I’ve never seen before. I saw that he just wanted to be appreciated and respected, just like the rest of us. His eyes filled with tears, as did mine. (I silently praised God for what I was just able to witness.)
Something happened that day, in him, and in me.
Jesus touched my friend’s heart through a simple intercessory prayer. Jesus touched mine through my friend’s touch.
We were as different as different could be. His skin was black. Mine is white. Our hands clasped together is an embedded image in my mind.
He was young. I was old enough to be his mother. He’d walk in and call me “Mama.”
He couldn’t relate to my life, and I had a tough time relating to his.
We were each once an “untouchable” to one another, yet, there we were holding hands praying together. God used both of us to impact each other’s life in an unforgettable way.
Isn’t that the way God works!?
Someone who just rubs you the wrong way? A class of people you can’t stand to see, so you turn your head? What about that homeless man begging at the corner? Or as with me, that person who couldn’t be more different than you?
Jesus sent his twelve harvest hands out with this charge: “Don’t begin by traveling to some far-off place to convert unbelievers. And don’t try to be dramatic by tackling some public enemy. Go to the lost, confused people right here in the neighborhood. Tell them that the kingdom is here. Bring health to the sick. Raise the dead. Touch the untouchables. Kick out the demons. You have been treated generously, so live generously. Matthew 10:5-8
Our relationship continued to grow over the next eighteen months, until the heart-wrenching day he was found murdered in his apartment. My heart still misses him, but I’m thankful he knew the truth of salvation through Jesus Christ.
My young friend changed my life, and I pray I had a part in changing his too.
Friends, be willing to touch the untouchables.
Trust me when I say, you’ll be touched too.
It’s a joy to link up with Suzie and friends for #livefreeThursday with the prompt, the power of touch. You’ll be blessed when you visit there!
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