Every month my wife and I do a service on a Sunday night at a homeless shelter 50 miles from home. It is located near I-40 on the edge of the Navajo Nation. We enjoy being able to touch the lives of those who are in a tough spot in their lives. It's always a little sad and yet always enlightening. Last night we were there and some of the guys who stumbled in, literally stumbled in. They were a bit on the buzzed side and I knew that they weren't really listening, but rather just trying to escape the 50mph winds that were blowing.
My message was about prayer and the need to pray without ceasing (1Thess 5:17) and the joy it will give you as a result. (1Thess 5:16) This was only part of the message, but I could see in eyes of those who were a bit tipsy that it registered with them. Their heads lifted and each one looked at me with understanding. Talking to God= Joy/happiness/ feel good. They were obviously into feeling good, but more in the physical sense.
The rest of the message was about not neglecting either the spiritual or physical parts of our being. Both must be addressed if we are to be complete. The one neglected will die and what happens with one affects the other.
Call me crazy, but I think they began to sober up and some understanding crept into their minds. I hope so. I really believe the Holy Spirit was at work. So many fail to see that the actions we perform in our physical being greatly affect our spiritual being. As we loaded up equipment into the van, the ones who were stumbling all sat outside and waved and smiled at us as though some connection was made. I praise God for connections.
God is so good in the tough times, if we stop and look for Him. So many think that those who seek spiritual matters are not living in the real world. Let me tell you, it doesn't get any more real. For those who can't see beyond this place and this time, I sincerely pray your eyes will be opened. The guys in the shelter have reality in their faces every day, yet some choose to change their reality (or hide from it) through alcohol or drugs. If they could just learn to see the ultimate reality of God and let Him guide their lives, the tough times may not change, but the ultimate friend would walk them through those times.
Pray for them.