Tonight I met Dave Thomas! Isn't that exciting! No, not the founder of the Wendy's fast food joint, another Dave Thomas.
The choir at our church went to sing at the Waterfront Rescue Mission. This place centers around helping men so when we walked in I tried to be friendly to people without being TO Friendly. I smiled and said hello and went to speak with the ladies in the choir. When I found out what the plan was I just went and sat down in one of the pews in the little church. As I sat there I was very aware of all these men sitting, waiting for the service to start. I felt God prompting me to get up and go shake Hands with some of these men. "No, God, I'm good right here." I felt it again. "No God, really I'm okay where I am." And yet again God kept that steady nudge at my heart. I knew I could not fight this feeling so I stood up and turned around. I walked over and shook the hand of one man and said hello. As I shook his hand I wondered when the last time was that a woman got within 10 feet of him, much less shook his hand. I went here and there in the congregation shaking hands and thanking then for coming to here us sing. That's when I met Dave.
Dave Thomas, is a 48 year old man who grew up in a Christian home. His Mother was a Theology major. She was very active in Church when he was younger so he was there all the time. He had a great appreciation for what his mother did but fell into a world of bad choices and failed to pass on those teachings to his two Daughters. They are now both in their 20's and he is so sad when he speaks with them about God because he knows he failed them by not being the Dad he needed to be and sharing these things with them when they were younger.
Dave has no job right now. He used to be a Salesman, but was let go a while back. He was also in the Merchant Marines for a good while and traveled all around when he was younger. At some point in his life Dave fell into Drugs. He talked about how he "is" (not was or used to be, but is) addicted to drugs. He said the world he lived in is very dangerous and it is a risk to be there. He comes to the church to get away from it so he can be some place where there is not pressure to take the drugs. He spoke of how desperate he was to find a church "family". A place to go where people embraced him and he talked about how much he just wants to learn.
It broke my heart to hear him speak! He was not telling me what I wanted to hear and then asking for a hand out. He was truly struggling and wanted us to pray that God would help him know how to speak to his daughters and help them understand and that God would lead him to a church home. How much we take for Granted! And yes, I did wonder when the last time was that a woman shook his hand... so I hugged him.
I could have sat in my spot on the pew and never met Dave. I could have stayed in my comfort zone and said, "God, I'm here to sing and that should be enough." Thank God I didn't! What a blessing it was to meet Dave Thomas.
There are people all around us, not just homeless people or drug addicts, all types of people who desperately want what we have to offer... peace of God, which transcends all understanding.
God, Kick me out of my pew! Don't let me get so blind that I just can't see those who need a touch.
Dave needed someone to listen. He needed to know that someone was praying for him. I did pray for him and will continue to pray for him. I hope that I meet him again one day and hear about how much God has changed his life. What a blessing that will be!