Saturday, August 23, 2008
The Narthex Man showed up this past Wednesday night while the "Jews for Jesus" group was singing and testifying in the Sanctuary. When I got up from my seat to give the ushers some instructions about the offering, I saw him seated on one of the short benches in the Narthex. His backpack was on the floor. His dress seemed to announce him as one in need of some help. I invited him to join us in the Sanctuary, but he declined. He just wanted to rest a minute, was not dressed well enough, and could hear fine with the speakers in the Narthex. Such is what he said.
After the service was over, I went back to see the Narthex Man and found one of our youth engaged in conversation with him. As I joined them, I found out he was riding a bike from Florida to his home in New York. However, the bike was about done. The afternoon repair job was not going to take him far. I offered him a meal and a place to stay which he declined by asking for the money I was going to spend on the motel. He could use it and some money which friends would wire from New York to buy a bus ticket. As I was unable to respond as he wanted, he put on his backpack, got on his bike and headed out with intentions of getting into Savannah before calling it a day.
I have learned over the years that sometimes you can help, but not all the time. Narthex Man seemingly received nothing from our church. But, he did receive one thing. He heard the music of "Jews for Jesus" and he heard from one of them a very clear message about Jesus. He also heard an invitation to walk with Him. Before Narthex Man left, John and I prayed with him. I would have been glad to have given him a place to rest and shower, but it was not possible. What he did receive may have far more benefits than anything I could have offered. Jesus was being offered in the next room and through the speakers in the narthex. I can only pray that Narthex Man heard the message and will remember until he says, "Yes!"