In His Time

By: Debbie Hendrix

Several years ago, a 60-year-old community service worker named Richard spent five months at the Conway thrift store, working off fines. Richard was often homeless and over a period of time, I learned that he had been in prison and was also struggling with alcoholism. He was tender-hearted and soft-spoken but in time he told me that he had a 13-year-old son who meant the world to him. Because of guilty and homelessness, Richard had not seen his son in several years. This caused him to feel even more guilt and drink more. In spite of all of this, his spirit had not been broken.

I hadn’t seen him in more than one year when, two weeks ago, he came in to the corps for a food box. He was driving a truck and so, my first reaction was to say, “oh, I’m so glad to see that you got your license back.” Unfortunately, that was not the case.

He was driving without a license and using a friend’s truck. When I looked into his eyes in that moment, I saw a different Richard. I saw a man whose spirit was broken.

He readily admitted that and said that he needed help or he was going to die. He knew that he could not go any further down the road on which he was traveling and admitted that he had begun using drugs. He was paranoid and seeing people and things that were not there.

At that point, I asked him if he would consider going to John 3:16, a boot camp for men with addictions in Charlotte, Arkansas. He said that he would think about it and get back to me. Usually, that is a clear sign that the person is not ready for help, so. I prayed for him and left the situation with God.

Two weeks later, I received a personal phone call from my niece and went out through the back door for some privacy. We talked and after hanging up, I had an overwhelming thought that I needed to pray for Richard. I hadn’t thought of him since our conversation but I listened to the voice and prayed that God would convict him to reach out for help.

God answered that prayer.

I came back into my office and Richard was standing in my window, shaking and crying. I had to smile and cry at how the Lord works in the hearts of those he loves and the truth that he loves us all.

Richard immediately said that he wanted to be clean and sober. I gave him the number to John 3:16 and he called them and made an appointment to enter the program the following Sunday. In the meantime, he stayed with his uncle, a good Christian man. Every day, Richard called me to give me an update and reassure me that he would be going to John 3:16. I believed him and knew that God had had his hand on the situation from the very beginning.

To God be the glory.