The last thing she said to me before leaving the house was, “Don’t go alone to talk to him.”
He had left a message earlier in the day, and called again while we were in Bible study. His message was that he goes to a new independent Christian church in the Los Angeles area, was not too far from us, and needed a pastor or elder to talk with on the phone. When I called him back he asked if I had time to talk, and I told him I really didn’t, but would call him back in the morning if that was okay with him.
When I did, he informed me that he had AIDS, had been in the hospital for a couple of weeks, and was at Motel 6. He said he had gone to Maryland to see his mother and sisters, who he hadn’t seen in a long time. They didn’t know he was sick, and were shocked when they saw he had gone from 230 pounds to 119. They were even more shocked when he told them he had come to know Jesus, and had left his gay lifestyle. His mom was an orthodox Jew, but she and his sisters had all embraced new age beliefs. They made it very clear they wanted nothing to do with him now that he was a Christian, and tossed his luggage into the street, without his train ticket home. He ended up here because the person who picked him up along the road was heading to Springfield. His only remaining friend was sending him a train ticket, and had arranged for him to get from Litchfield to the train station in St. Louis, but he needed to get to the Baymont in Litchfield to sign for the ticket.
What do you do with a story like that? Are you being played, or is it a real need? It was decision time. I decided I would take a chance it was for real, and would drive him to Litchfield. When I called to tell Marilyn, she begged me to ask Mark to go with me, and he graciously agreed to so do.
After we got him a room and had lunch together, he said he had really enjoyed spending time with brothers. We felt the same way. Whether he really is a brother is not relevant to his current need, but it will be wonderful if one day we do meet again as brothers around the throne of our heavenly Father.
God Bless, Rick