I met Ethel on the bike path again today. We walk early in the morning to avoid the southern California heat, and sometimes encounter one another. Ethel is a woman of God. I’m always happy to see her.
This morning we talked about our mutual concern for the homeless men and women we see on the streets around our homes. We’ve both said, “Lord, what can I do? What would You have me do?” Ethel is a woman of prayer, and a woman of action in obedience to the Lord. I’m convicted and encouraged by her.
As we walked and talked, Ethel and I were surprised to discover we both have concern for the same homeless man. At different times, independent of one another, we have seen him sitting outside a small church building along our walking route. His name is Tommy. I know this because every Thursday morning Tommy attends the same Bible study at church that I attend.
One day, not long after I started attending the Bible study, Tommy walked into the building, backpack in hand, and asked if he could join us. Our group, used to homeless men and women around our church, welcomed him into the Bible study.
Every week Tommy gets his cup of coffee, opens his Bible and appears to follow along. He contributes to the discussion at times. But Tommy’s mind lives in a parallel universe; his comments make no sense to the rest of us. We listen politely and try to respond as best we can.
I began praying that God heal Tommy’s mind. I pray for him the same as I pray that God heal the bodies of those who are sick or injured. Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil. Those works are at the root of all that has gone wrong with us spiritually and physically; mind and body and soul.
The New Testament gospels overflow with demonstrations of the destruction of the works of the devil by Jesus and his apostles as they taught the gospel of the Kingdom of God, healed and cast out demons. The final blow to the devil was Jesus’ death and resurrection. The major battle has been won.
Now we are in the mopping up period after that decisive battle; we live in the age of the Acts of the Holy Spirit. Since God the Father gave Jesus all power and authority, Jesus has commanded us, his followers, to continue his works in his world. He gave us his Spirit to do these works.
Ethel and I know God is at work, and we get to be part of it. When two people independently have burdens for the same person, are praying for him, and reaching out to him, you know God is up to something.
God wants to reach, redeem and restore Tommy.
Will you join us in seeing the Kingdom of God come to life within Tommy?
 Her real name, with her permission to use it.
 Not his real name.