A man named Ron came to our church one day with a family he kind of bumped into. You see a young man came across him walking a road in his rural town. He came to understand that Ron was a homeless alcoholic. He lived in a tent in the woods of Worcester County, MA. The story that unfolds is the core of authentic Christianity. Be careful if you decide to read on. You just may learn that the most sacred acts in Christianity aren't that glamorous.
It wasn't long before the young man invited Ron to church. He accepted the invitation. So the young man arranged to pick him up in his car and take him with him. Now Ron is sitting in church with this young man, his wife and parents as well. The parents of the young man are great people with a heart to help. They invite Ron to their home for dinner not once but on several occasions.
In one instance they had invited Ron to come to church again but did not know for sure if he was coming. They were concerned about him not missing the ride so Denise, the young man's mother, went driving up the road approximately to where Ron's tent was pitched and slowed down. She rolled down her window and did the unthinkable...she yelled Ron's name at the top of her lungs. Now this might not seem abnormal but you must understand that there were no houses or apartments. It was just woods! Neighbors and passers by would probably wonder "what is up with this crazy lady screaming at the trees?"
Here's the best part of the story. Ron decided to become a disciple and follow the teachings of Jesus. This loving family bridged a gap between him and them. They helped feed him and encourage him. They found a treatment program called Teen Challenge where Ron agreed to go and be rid of alcoholism. They even bought clothes for him and drove him there and check up on his progress.
This reminds me of the story in the Bible of the Good Samaritan who found a guy almost dead on the road and, out of his own pocket, paid for some relief for the man who needed it. The down and out didn't have to qualify or measure up. The only thing that was prerequisite for the aid was the need.
I think it's time that more people get out of their comfort zones and start screaming at the trees. We might look a little crazy but to the people we're helping it is sure worth it.