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I Met Jesus in Tent City

November 27, 2014

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My wife Denise and I took part in our annual tradition which began the first Thanksgiving after we began dating. Before gathering with the Wolfe family for dinner with a wonderful extended family, we gathered with our dear friends Arthur and April and several dozen others to put together food for shut-in and low income clients of the Medical equipment company Arthur runs. It was our privilege to deliver meals to Homebound clients of his and homeless residents of a tent city in the greater Mobile area.

We delivered meals to eleven folks in a tent city. With the smoke from a campfire burning to keep them warm swirling around us, we shared meals and conversations with our newly met homeless brothers and sisters. In the midst of Mobile, with all of the beautiful homes and comfortable surroundings, we met folks on the fringe. And, in the midst of that camp, I met Jesus. Although his name was James, I know for a fact that this poor, working man of color was truly Jesus!

James knew his Bible well. He also knew the real and brutal struggle of daily dealing with racism on a personal basis! The three of us shed tears together as he shared the story of how his wife died in his arms (and went straight into the arms of a loving God whom we all serve and love). He honored us by allowing us to pray with and for him and for the members of the tent city.

Following this encounter, we gathered with family and friends for a feast. However, with the smoke from the campfire still strong on my clothes and in my senses, I see James next to me. I looked straight into his eyes and as we prayed, I swear I saw Jesus! As wonderful as the time with family and friends has been, what strikes me most is the encounter with my brother James.

Today, I saw Jesus in the face and the heart of my brother James. And I will forever be impacted by that moment. May God bless and keep all my sisters and brothers who have no place to lay their heads. And may God soften the hearts of the powers that be to see the face of Jesus in the faces of those like my brother James.

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