I would like to tell you a story about a friend I made here in Denver. For the sake of the story, I am going to call him Ralph.
I first met Ralph at a motel on the infamous Colfax Avenue. Many people who are homeless in Denver end up staying in grungy motels on Colfax, as it is better than the street, yet only require payment for one night at a time. Ralph was homeless, and he had come to the motel for a few nights rest. He wasn’t your stereotypical homeless man at all. When I met him, Ralph was sitting on a chair outside of his room reading a book. He was completely sober, carried great conversation, and was very educated. He was probably in his late 20’s and wore khaki pants and a button-up shirt. He told us a little bit about himself, and how he was trying so hard to find a job to get off the streets and out of the motels. A job for him wasn't coming easy, and he seemed a little demoralized about it. He told me that most of the time he slept at the Denver Rescue Mission. We listened, empathized, and prayed with him, truly believing that God could find him a job. You could tell he was a little bit ashamed of his situation, and weary of what we were doing there, but still grateful for the prayer and burritos that we were able to offer him.
The Rescue Mission downtown. As I was handing out meals, I saw a man that looked strikingly familiar, but I just couldn’t figure out from where. We stared at each other awkwardly for a few seconds, and eventually he said, “hey, you’re the guy that I met on Colfax!” I suddenly realized that our paths had crossed again. For the next 6 or 7 weeks, I saw Ralph at the rescue mission every time I was there. Always looking clean and sober, quite happy to stand in line for a meal in one of the toughest parts of the city. I went to volunteer at the
Last Thursday, Ralph walked through the line to get breakfast as he always did. This time, however, he looked different. Ralph was wearing a suit! A really nice pinstriped grey suit, with a new shiny white shirt. He was cleanly shaven, with a sophisticated haircut and a new confidence about him. Slightly taken back, I asked him why he looked so spiffy that day. “I got a job!!” he exclaimed. "A great job working with clients of a steel manufacturing company." He was so happy, satisfied, and ready to take on the world, so different from the man who I had met just weeks before.
It is an incredible thing to see prayers answered. As far as I know, Ralph isn’t even a Christian.
I can only continue to pray for Ralph, and hope that the friendship, prayer and love that I have been able to show him over the last few months will somehow speak of the love that Christ has for him. I hope and pray that after I leave Denver in a few weeks, someone else may enter his life; someone who continually tells him about Jesus and prays for him. Someone that will have the joy of hearing him talk about that time that God provided him with a job, and a strange guy with dreads befriended him at a motel on Colfax Avenue.
- Jordan, CSM Denver Summer 2013 City Host
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