I have learned over years of ministry that making yourselves available for God to use you does not make you special, it only makes the moments special that God uses you. So as I write this unusual second blog of the week (thought about saving it for Sunday but then everyone would not hear about it), I do so humbly and with a thankful heart that the Lord chooses to use such an imperfect person as me - to Him always be the glory.
I am now finished buying 25 cars this week, spending 3 days out in 100 plus degrees heat between Orlando and Tampa, but amazingly my mind is sharp and I am not having a heat stroke. That said, last night was an awesome night, much more valuable than the fruits of my work.
I checked into the motel in mid afternoon to rest before a day of more travel. I got a call that the front desk clerk had not returned my drivers license, and would I please come get it. I fell asleep for awhile, then got hungry and went walking toward the office. I passed a young woman coming down the stairs who looked a little odd, but I didn't think twice about it until she was right in front of me as I prepared to walk down to the restaurant.
She said "where are you going" and I said "to dinner". She asked to walk along, that's when I noticed the marks on her neck. I asked her what she was doing and she said she was going home to her 8 month old, but then asked me if I wanted to "go on a date" first, revealing that she was a prostitute and that since her boyfriend (the child's father) was away in prison for dealing drugs, that's how she supported the two of them.
Naturally, and without hesitation I declined but asked her if she wanted to eat. Later I learned she had been shooting up with needles in her neck a combination of cocaine and heroin and lost 90 pounds, so her acceptance was out of pure hunger (or maybe she thought I might accept the date later). As we walked she unveiled her life story, drugs, men, abuse, one I had heard many times in many ways. When I told her about what I did, and about ATB, she asked if I was going to give her a lecture during dinner?
As we entered the restaurant (Pollo Tropical, one of my favorites) there were a half dozen police odfficers in there eating, she recognized two of them as ones she had sex with before (this is real, not Mickey Mouse fantasy), and she kept looking over her shoulder as they were also narcs. Me, I wasn't bothered because I had just done a thing on Jesus eating with "notorious sinners" and knew I had my 12 Step business cards with me in case we got questioned. Plus, I was led by an undeniable Spirit to minister to this woman.
My acceptance of her, joking about how bad I used to be, and even talking with her about the Celebrate Recovery meetings she had attended, I quickly realized that the Lord had sent me to this woman. I also realized that you cannot be arrested for socializing with a prostitute so I had no fear of a problem (though she was terrified). I told her that instead of sending her a "trick" God had sent her a "treat" to let her know everything was going to be okay. Then the tears came............
To make a long story short, she spoke about how difficult it would be for her to detox in a state approved facility, because they would take her baby away. But she wanted to quit, so naturally I called Tosha and let her speak with this woman and that added to my credibility.
We left, I walked her almost home, gave her a hug and thanked her for our "date" which turned out to be pretty special. I gave her my card to call, and only the Lord knows if she will.
But as she crossed the street I called to her and said, "God must think you are pretty special, he sent you a guy who could give you what you needed most, hope". More tears as she waved goodbye.......only in Disney World can these unusual things keep happening, but only in God's world can he take broken folks and put them back together again, to help other folks help put their lives back together as well!
When you wish upon a star, our amazing God is never far, he's everywhere you are!
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.