On the way home from work one day, I was sitting there, stopped in traffic, trying to decide what I wanted for dinner. Knowing I had pretty much no food at home and my long day was leaving me less than inspired to cook up a masterpiece or even some mac and cheese, on a whim, I decided to get off on the next exit and grab some Chinese food from a restaurant that I hadn’t been to since I had moved further away.
When I pulled into the parking lot, I noticed a man in the car next to me scrounging for change in his car. I thought about how I had been there before and hoped he could find what he needed. I went inside and was perusing the menu for what I thought might meet my Chinese food cravings. The man came up to the counter next to me and was counting out the change he had collected. He was still short for what he was trying to order. I paused to ask God if He wanted me to help the man out and in what way.
I paused to ask God if He wanted me to help the man out and in what way.
I was thinking, should I give him the remainder of what he needs? Should I pay for his whole meal? Lord, is there anything else you would have me do? I felt like God told me to give him the remainder of what he needed, but I still felt like there might be more after that. God only gave me that first step at the moment though.
So, I told the man to go ahead and order and that I would cover what he didn’t have enough for. It was only a few dollars, but the man, trying to hold it together, was clearly emotional over that little act of kindness. We both placed our orders and stood there waiting as the food was prepared. He kept shaking his head and saying to himself, I can’t believe it. Then he turned to me and thanked me again and just said that he couldn’t believe the kindness.
It was then that God gave me the next step. God gave me words to share with this man. I asked him his name and he told me, “Andropolis.” I thought for a moment about how strong and powerful that name was. I then proceeded with the words God gave me for him, “Andropolis, God loves and cares about you. He sees you, and He knows your needs and wants to meet them. You matter to Him.” Andropolis began to cry and tell me all about how he has been struggling with relapsing in his addictions and how he knows he needs to do better by his young children.
God loves and cares about you. He sees you, and He knows your needs and wants to meet them. You matter to Him.
Then the next step came, “Pray with him.” So, I asked Andropolis if I could pray with him. He welcomed me to, and I prayed healing and restoration for him and his family. I prayed into his purpose as a father and a man in his community, and I prayed that he would know deep down the unfailing love of God for him, even at the very place he was at that moment and in every moment. The words flowed out as from God Himself, I knew they weren’t just from me.
When I said amen, Andropolis began to whoop and jump up and down all around the restaurant, calling out, “Praise Jesus, praise Jesus!” I was surprised by his reaction and then was also deeply moved by it. Had I ever had that kind of response to the working of Christ in my life? I hadn’t. I am not a very expressive person myself and sometimes struggle with even acknowledging strong emotions, good or bad, but I so wanted to be able to celebrate the life-changing power of God in my life the way Andropolis did in that moment.
I so wanted to be able to celebrate the life-changing power of God in my life the way Andropolis did in that moment.Click to tweet
Andropolis then came back over to me and asked if he could borrow my phone so he could call his momma. I lent it to him and he started telling her about what just happened and said, “Momma, I know it was God. I know it was God. I’m done with the weed, Momma. I’m done with it. I’m going to get my life together for my kids, Momma.” I prayed that resolve would stay with him and that God would give him the strength he would need and surround him with a community that would promote health and healing from addiction.
This all happened about 2 years ago, but I have never forgotten Andropolis. He often comes to my mind, and I continue to pray for him. But I also treasure that exhilarating response that he had to God. It continues to inspire me to be so moved by the work of God in my life…to really respond to it as the treasure and profound blessing that it is.
It continues to inspire me to be so moved by the work of God in my life…to really respond to it as the treasure and profound blessing that it is.
Andropolis, you may not realize it or understand how it could be, but you are my inspiration.