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Angel Sassy Foxie's Tales

I Shall Pass This Way But Once....

April 21st 2011 4:11 pm
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I sat, with two friends, in the picture

window of a quaint restaurant just off the corner of

the town-square. The food and the company were both

especially good that day.

As we talked, my

attention was drawn outside, across the street. There,

walking into town, was a man who appeared to be

carrying all his worldly goods on his back. He was

carrying, a well-worn sign that read, 'I will work for

food.' My heart sank.

I brought him to the

attention of my friends and noticed that others around

us had stopped eating to focus on him. Heads moved in

a mixture of sadness and disbelief.


continued with our meal, but his image lingered in my

mind.. We finished our meal and went our separate

ways. I had errands to do and quickly set out to

accomplish them. I glanced toward the town square,

looking somewhat halfheartedly for the strange

visitor. I was fearful, knowing that seeing him again

would call some response. I drove through town and saw

nothing of him. I made some purchases at a store and

got back in my car.

Deep within me, the Spirit

of God kept speaking to me: 'Don't go back to the

office until you've at least driven once more around

the square.'

Then with some hesitancy, I

headed back into town. As I turned the square's third

corner, I saw him. He was standing on the steps of the

church, going through his sack.

I stopped and

looked; feeling both compelled to speak to him, yet

wanting to drive on. The empty parking space on the

corner seemed to be a sign from God: an invitation to

park. I pulled in, got out and approached the town's

newest visitor.

'Looking for the pastor?' I


'Not really,' he replied, 'just


'Have you eaten today?'


I ate something early this morning.'


you like to have lunch with me?'

'Do you have

some work I could do for you?'

'No work,' I

replied 'I commute here to work from the city, but I

would like to take you to lunch.'

'Sure,' he

replied with a smile.

As he began to gather

his things, I asked some surface questions. Where you


St. Louis '

'Where you from?'

'Oh, all over; mostly Florida .'


long you been walking?'

'Fourteen years,' came

the reply.

I knew I had met someone unusual.

We sat across from each other in the same restaurant I

had left earlier. His face was weathered slightly

beyond his 38 years. His eyes were dark yet clear, and

he spoke with an eloquence and articulation that was

startling He removed his jacket to reveal a bright red

T-shirt that said, 'Jesus is The Never Ending Story.'

Then Daniel 's story began to unfold. He had

seen rough times early in life. He'd made some wrong

choices and reaped the consequences. Fourteen years

earlier, while backpacking across the country, he had

stopped on the beach in Daytona. He tried to hire on

with some men who were putting up a large tent and

some equipment. A concert, he thought.

He was

hired, but the tent would not house a concert but

revival services, and in those services he saw life

more clearly. He gave his life over to God

'Nothing's been the same since,' he said, 'I

felt the Lord telling me to keep walking, and so I

did, some 14 years now.'

'Ever think of

stopping?' I asked.

'Oh, once in a while, when

it seems to get the best of me But God has given me

this calling. I give out Bibles; that's what's in my

sack. I work to buy food and Bibles, and I give them

out when His Spirit leads.'

I sat amazed. My

homeless friend was not homeless. He was on a mission

and lived this way by choice. The question burned

inside for a moment and then I asked: 'What's it



'To walk into a town

carrying all your things on your back and to show your


'Oh, it was humiliating at first.

People would stare and make comments. Once someone

tossed a piece of half-eaten bread and made a gesture

that certainly didn't make me feel welcome. But then

it became humbling to realize that God was using me to

touch lives and change people's concepts of other

folks like me.'

My concept was changing, too.

We finished our dessert and gathered his things. Just

outside the door, he paused He turned to me and said,

'Come Ye blessed of my Father and inherit the kingdom

I've prepared for you. For when I was hungry you gave

me food, when I was thirsty you gave me drink, a

stranger and you took me in.'

I felt as if we

were on holy ground. 'Could you use another Bible?' I


He said he preferred a certain

translation. It traveled well and was not too heavy.

It was also his personal favorite. 'I've read through

it 14 times,' he said.

'I'm not sure we've got

one of those, but let's stop by our church and see' I

was able to find my new friend a Bible that would do

well, and he seemed very grateful.

'Where are

you headed from here?' I asked.

'Well, I found

this little map on the back of this amusement park


'Are you hoping to hire on there for

a while?'

'No, I just figure I should go

there. I figure someone under that star right there

needs a Bible, so that's where I'm going next.'

He smiled, and the warmth of his spirit

radiated the sincerity of his mission. I drove him

back to the town-square where we'd met two hours

earlier, and as we drove, it started raining. We

parked and unloaded his things.

'Would you

sign my autograph book?' he asked. 'I like to keep

messages from folks I meet.'

I wrote in his

little book that his commitment to his calling had

touched my life. I encouraged him to stay strong. And

I left him with a verse of scripture from Jeremiah, 'I

know the plans I have for you, declared the Lord,

'plans to prosper you and not to harm you; Plans to

give you a future and a hope.'

'Thanks, man,'

he said. 'I know we just met and we're really just

strangers, but I love you.'

'I know,' I said,

'I love you, too.' 'The Lord is good!'


He is. How long has it been since someone hugged you?'

I asked.

A long time,' he replied


so on the busy street corner in the drizzling rain, my

new friend and I embraced, and I felt deep inside that

I had been changed.. He put his things on his back,

smiled his winning smile and said, 'See you in the New


'I'll be there!' was my reply.

He began his journey again. He headed away

with his sign dangling from his bedroll and pack of

Bibles. He stopped, turned and said, 'When you see

something that makes you think of me, will you pray

for me?'

'You bet,' I shouted back, 'God


'God bless.' And that was the last I

saw of him.

Late that evening as I left my

office, the wind blew strong. The cold front had

settled hard upon the town. I bundled up and hurried

to my car. As I sat back and reached for the emergency

brake, I saw them.... a pair of well-worn brown work

gloves neatly laid over the length of the handle. I

picked them up and thought of my friend and wondered

if his hands would stay warm that night without them.

Then I remembered his words: 'If you see

something that makes you think of me, will you pray

for me?'

Today his gloves lie on my desk in my

office. They help me to see the world and its people

in a new way, and they help me remember those two

hours with my unique friend and to pray for his

ministry. 'See you in the New Jerusalem,' he said.

Yes, Daniel , I know I will.

'I shall pass

this way but once. Therefore, any good that I can do

or any kindness that I can show, let me do it now, for

I shall not pass this way again.'

May You Feel The Presence of God

God Bless All,
Angel Foxie


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