I met today with our friend Charles. An older man tha Sammie Jo and I picked up last week and drove around town. An older man who can’t hear, whom we had to communicate via pen and paper, and is living completely alone in a house that is barely standing.
We went to visit him on Friday but we couldn’t figure out how to get the attention of a deaf man inside his house. Today, we reached our hand inside his door and shook some stuff close to where he was warming himself by a space heater.
It took us a while to finally get his attention and to be honest I was a little nervou reaching inside a man’s house. Unsure of what was behind the door and hoping that he didn’t have a gun.
The conversations are awkward because you cannot respond as you normally would, writing questions can be annoying. I just want to speak to him normally.
My initial vision for visiting him again was to offer to rebuild his home or at least fix what we could.
As much as I would love to go in tomorrow with all the construction skills that I have learned from my dad and begin to fix some of his problems, the problem is he doesn’t think anything is wrong. Or he doesn’t care.
He doesn’t seem to mind living where he is, he’s comfortable living in a place that could collapse at any moment. I’ve realized that it’s really not my responsibility to tell him that he shouldn’t live there. So…
My vision has changed.
My new vision for Charles is to show him love.
Simple, intentional acts of kindness in love.
We offered to help him many times, to come out and clean up everything with him. He said, “I cleaned up most of the stuff.” He cleans about like me, shoving most of it under his bed or in the closet.
As he was telling us stories, we weren’t sure if they were actual reality or an alternate reality that he has developed since being alone for so long.
We offered to pray for him but then went on to say that he didn’t have anywhere for us to sit inside. He goes off on random tangents all the time and most of the time we just look at ourselves and smile. We just enjoy being there with Charles because we know it’s what Jesus would do.
As we were leaving, Dusty said a prayer for him. He couldn’t hear what we were saying but I could tell that he knew we were praying for him.
I didn’t close my eyes but instead of began to stare into his eyes. They were cold and out of touch with reality but deep down I saw a man who is broken. A deeper man who is dying to get out of a prison of loneliness.
It was obvious as we began to leave.
He is starving for Love.
He’s scared for someone to walk through his door and see the inside of his home, and at the same time, starving for someone to accept him where he is.
Revelation 3:20 says, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person.”
Father, open his ears to hear your voice.