“We take in strays, orphans and widderwimen.” (see James 1:27)
Y’all all remember Lois. She was the old lady that used to babysit for us when Lindsey was a little baby. She was pretty crazy, and she had a drinkin’ problem off and on during her life. She had some pretty hard times, what with her husband dying when he was a young man, and them having a boy with Downs Syndrome. She had to raise that boy by herself. He lived to be about 20 years old. But oh what a caring heart that lady had. She was like a member of our family. She went camping with us in Big Bend; and she took y’all fishing at her lake house. She took us out there to feed the chickens and have puppies in her living room floor. She needed us and we needed her, and God saw to it that we all got what we needed, which was mostly somebody to love us, and hug us, and answer the phone when the call came in the middle of the night. I was glad to know her.
And there was this guy named Dave Twoomey. I’m not sure how it happened (somehow thru the church I think) but we ended up with his wife and two little girls living in the basement apartment while he was sitting in jail for kiting checks. Somehow or other he finally got out after about a month and they all left; but in the meantime we fed ‘em and talked to them about Jesus; and got ‘em clothes and stuff. I don’t think we changed their lives or anything, but something was going on. And at the time God had blessed us with extra stuff and money; so it didn’t hurt us one bit. We even gave him a Bible, but I think he left it there when he left.
When I first got baptized in the Spirit, I was working for Paul Campbell remodeling apartments. He had this cabinetmaker named Jim Haynes who was a recovering alcoholic who hadn’t quite made it to recovery. One time he didn’t show up for work for 3-4 days and Paul got me to go with him to Jim’s apartment to see about him. He was so drunk he couldn’t even get his clothes on, so we helped him. We finally decided to take him to Big Spring to the State hospital to dry out; and he sorta agreed to go. Heck, he was so drunk he couldn’t remember where he left his pickup. Anyway, I got elected to take him. It’s about 125 miles, and on the way down he started to sober up a little, and he kept begging me to stop and buy him a bottle of wine to help him get thru the first few hours at the hospital. He started getting sick, and he said it was because he needed a drink. Well, he didn’t smell too good already, and I sure didn’t want him throwing up all over my car, so I bought him some wine. You never saw anybody so happy and thankful. ‘Course I’m sure Paul and everybody wouldn’t have like it if they’d known, and the people at the hospital were pretty hot ‘cause they said they couldn’t take him while he was still drunk; but I told them I did the best I could, and I was lucky he didn’t jump out of the car instead of coming to the hospital; so they took him. In the end I think I did the right thing. I think he stayed there about 90 days and then he stayed sober for a long time after that. It was quite an experience for me.
It never hurts to give a dollar to a panhandler. You won’t miss it; he can buy a beer; and you might hear an entertaining story. And you don’t necessarily have to say something about God. If you’re supposed to, you’ll know. It’s hard work asking people for money. Yes, I know, lots of people thinking they’re just lazy, good-for-nuthin’ bums, but lots of them have ghosts in their closets that just won’t leave them alone. Instead of condemning them, probably we need to pray for them, help them, and ask what else we can do for them. You never know what God has in mind.