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40 Responses

  1. em says:

    funny thing is, if she was going to church, if her problem was a different one, harder to detect, there’s some folks here who would condemn her…

    now i anticipate same folks posting – dare i say, sanctimoniously – the churches wouldn’t let her in! … maybe not

    God knows

    good food for thought, Michael – thank you

  2. Jim says:


  3. JoelG says:

    Love it

  4. london says:

    Cool, you have a new friend!

  5. parker says:

    Thank you, Michael. Very thought provoking.

  6. SJ says:

    This made my week brotha…..

  7. So good, Michael!

    Food, water, an overnight at whatever motel might be within walking distance, a change of wardrobe, perhaps even offer to launder her clothes or replace them, hit up 5 local churches’ benevolence ministries to get help pulling it off, and of course, giver her a copy of your book.

  8. filbertz says:

    ‘normal’ is just a cloak draped over our baggage.

    I have Jesus and still need…but my needs are only apparent to the close observer, the salient, or the confidant. I struggle with my needs as a private foe, fearful I’ll be exposed as a poser, loser, or louse. I don’t need a beer; I need a win.

  9. pastor guru says:

    “I said I liked your goddam book…”

    Classic! Rock on!

  10. Michael says:

    Thank you, folks.
    fil…I’m right there with you.

    Thus concludes another week of the PhxP for me…see you on Monday.

  11. take Monday off, it’s a holiday!

  12. Please Note says:

    Nicely Done, Michael.

    Great piece and application.

    Always love how you turn a phrase. In this one, I especially appreciated the line about her age,

    ‘One cannot guess with much certainty as the street adds years without them being lived…’

    Also liked what the Hazelnut added, nice filby!

  13. says:

    Now if she had been promoting some Democrat “liberal” cause, Jesus might have appeared to ward enough a bunch of ccers, reminding them about the first stone!
    god bless my wallet, to hell with everyone else.

  14. dusty says:

    Michael (((((HUGS))))))

  15. brian says:

    I said this before and just add it for what its worth. I have needed at times and I have tried to repent of needing, even air or water because we should need nothing at all ever. We are islands unto ourselves held together only by some tenable utilitarian connection that changes by the second. Out of the many sins of fellowship I have committed probably to two worse was, showing grief and actually needing Jesus. I never quite understood that. Still dont.

  16. em says:

    Michael’s beautifully related encounter with this woman has so many facets
    paraphrasing – at least – what i’ve read above
    G, “clean the old dear up”
    fil, “there but for the grace of God … goes any one of us” loose translation
    Ucc’d, not sure i got that one 🙂 something about self interest and hypocrites?
    brian, “people see being needy as offensive and sinful”
    i think that she’s probably mentally gone over the edge and needs, but probably would reject, custodial care… God for her is more a phantom principle than a friend, i suspect… all that said, we do have too many like her – the result of the civil liberties crowd that shut down the incarceration of the helpless – is life on the street better for them? dunno, but it condemns those of us who look down our noses at them… it is true that most of us wouldn’t know what to do, but wouldn’t it be wonderful, if there were a no strings attached place to clean up and receive medical care? … Christians (me) will answer for not finding a way to help them, no doubt

  17. em says:

    p.s., i haven’t forgotten Salvation Army and other shelters… perhaps, it’s just a case of not enough of them or not in enough places? every town?

  18. Babylon's Dread says:

    If you have Jesus AND a beer your life is improved.

  19. dusry says:

    So many fall through the cracks. Most shelters have a limit as to how long they allow one to stay. And restrictions on who can stay. It is so hard when you want to help and there are so many….

  20. Happymom says:

    While the gospel-centered crowd build their conference-driven kingdom, tweeting their delight with one another, they’ve lost sight of the Man of sorrows – acquainted with grief.

    Good reminder, Michael.

  21. Anne says:

    #16 I’m thinking her relationship with Jesus may be less phantom than for many filling pews once a week on Sunday. Not necessarily in line with TC (theological correctness) but a truer life line in her survival than one might imagine. Like really down where the rubber meets the road, if you will. That her heart resonates with anything Michael has written in Make Your Own Application would seem an indication. More than a mustard seed of faith, I suspect. Don’t know. Just my thinking about it…

  22. em says:

    i hope Anne, you’re right about her faith in Jesus and i know you’re right about the pew sitters – sadly

  23. em says:

    yes, Dusty, you’re right on the restrictions (which are necessary, i know)…

    but G.’s impulse could be partially carried out with some kind of sanitation terminal – a bare bones, cement floor locker room sort of facility with first aid type of medical care and screening and warm showers etc. – located at the back of the county sheriff’s office, police station or local hospital parking areas … target the “just leave me alone” souls, obviously not intended for homeless families

  24. Paige says:

    Well said, Michael. Life is strange, is it not? I certainly have WAY fewer answers than I ever dreamed. Ha. Perhaps ‘answers” aren’t what’s needed anyhow.

    Anne, I agree.

    A difficult life, physical and mental illness or abuse issues + alcoholism + the toll of street living = a complex solution or perhaps no “solution” needed.

    Going out on a Christianese limb, may I suggest demonic influences that seek to destroy & kill, while shouting about Jesus, is rather Biblical.
    “These men are of the Most High “…..Acts 16:17-18
    I will pray for this gal tonight. That’s the only ‘solution’ and ‘help’ I can give.

  25. Alex says:

    What a great story LOL. Love it.

  26. Marianne Carter says:

    Judgement always messes it up!

  27. Paige says:

    Great to see you, Marianne, here on the Phoenix Preacher…..

  28. Captain Kevin says:

    Suddenly, my theology faucet runs dry.

  29. Jtk says:

    I feel uncomfortable.

    Your writing is effective….

  30. mike says:

    I remember a bible verse that says “be warmed and fed”…
    And a Keith green song “God bless you be at peace… and all heaven just weeps. Cuz jesus came to your door you left him out on the street”
    People don’t just need jesus. They need help.
    Great reminder. Thx michael

  31. dusry says:

    Some cities are arresting people for feeding the homeless

  32. dusry says:

    How are you cap kevin? Been praying for you

  33. dusry says:

    Paige still praying for your boys

  34. Ms. ODM says:

    What would she have done with a motel room for the night, a clean change of clothes and underwear, soap & shampoo, and a hair brush, toothbrush & tooth paste? Along with a Gideon’s Bible — and maybe some sparkling water instead of a beer. Try that next time and send me the bill.

  35. Eric says:

    You’re a talented writer, but I don’t see how giving a beer to a homeless alcoholic was more loving and Christ-like than say, giving something to eat? Stopping and talking? Maybe, I missed something, and maybe there’s more details that didn’t fit within what you were doing with this post.

  36. em says:

    Eric, i know your question is (rightly) addressed to Michael… it is a good one and was discussed quite a bit on this thread…

    this is just my opinion… Michael did not have the resources (any of them) to take her on as a project that night… what he did was a simple gesture to affirm her humanity as he passed by

  37. Xenia says:

    Here’s the order of events;

    1. Michael breezes past the smelly homeless lady.
    2. He overhears someone say that she needs Jesus.
    3. This seems to irk Michael and he reacts by buying the woman a beer.
    4. The woman says she likes Michael’s book and says something about God.
    5. Based on this, Michael assumes she is a Christian and already has Jesus.

  38. em says:

    it’s called ‘poetic license’

    it ends with a call to “make your own application”

    we did 🙂

  39. Michael says:

    The nature of this medium demands brevity.
    This woman has been around the store for a couple of years…I know some back story and much more information.
    She refuses most help and chooses to live in a way most of us would choose not to.

    This was one snapshot in a long film.

    My point is often simply to get people to think outside the box as I keep running into more and more people who don’t live in one.

    I knew the beer would be controversial…and I knew it wasn’t going to bother me that it was.

  40. dusry says:

    She may just pay more attention to some of the readings from michaels book. That might feed her soul more than the hotel gideon because michael was kind to her.

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