And while she loved my desire to invite Jesus home, she suggested other options to show that I cared
This post is borrowed from our Board Member, Emily Harkins who shared this story on her personal blog. She can be found at eharkins.com
When I was in high school, I drove a Pink Pontiac Sunfire; I called her the Pink Princess. The CD player ate most discs and the driver's side window motor didn't function quite right. It never failed to get stuck at the most unfortunate times. I once went to an automatic car wash, rolled the window down to pay, and then it wouldn't go back up. There were people in line behind me so my only option was to drive forward. I ended up getting it mostly up by the time the heavy spray was coming at me, but it absolutely leaked down the inside panel of my door through the crack at the top.
During the summers and some during the school year I kept a job. I worked random jobs at the Denver Country Club in various departments- accounting, special events, childcare, dining, and even valet. I made friends with Pete Coors the summer after my junior year when he would ask me which vehicle I wanted him to bring the following week when he came for his tee time. My favorite was the Black Corvette. Every time I drove to work that summer I would see the same man. He was always between the same two blocks and always wore the same outfit. He wasn't old- maybe in his mid twenties. He had long hair, usually in a pony tail. He had a checkered backpack and usually wore a backwards hat. His shoes were pretty worn and printed across his short sleeve tangled t-shirt was an album cover for the Ramones. But what I remember most about him were his pants. The were bright green. Almost blinding bright green. The first time I saw him I was interested in him. Something about him, despite the off-putting green pants, had drawn me in. When I worked again a few days later, I saw him, this time making eye contact while I sat at a light. Over the next several weeks I would continue to see him in the same location, each time making eye contact with him and feeling more and more of a pull to him. Unlike many of the other homeless men that worked the streets of downtown Denver, Green Pants never had a sign asking for help or had anything that would suggest he was even trying to collect money. He was just a presence. I remember going home one night and telling Mindilicious about him. With 100% certainty, I was convinced that this man was actually Jesus. Honestly. I begged and begged and begged my mom to let me pick him up and bring him home. And while she loved my desire to invite Jesus home, she suggested other options to show that I cared. After that I started carrying around bottles of water and extra dollars left over from my gas money allowance. As often as I could, I would try to give Jesus something when I saw him. I even had to slide stuff through my cracked window when I couldn't get it to roll down. But truly, whenever I crossed Jesus' path, I tried to connect with him in some way...... Today I'm still trying to connect with the Jesus who inhabited those green pants. He's taken on a lot of different forms to date, and most recently He's returned to green. You see- there is great need in Winston-Salem and two of my good friends have heard The Lord calling them to meet this need. Imagine jumping through all the necessary hoops involved with permanent housing to then be given the keys to an empty space with no bed or bedding, kitchen supplies, or furnishings to make a home; to make a life. Currently WS does not have a central furnishing resource to assist formerly homeless people as they transition into stable housing. That is- until now! greeNest (green nest) is here to address that need. As a Board we have identified a collection space and have a team of volunteers ready to serve- many of whom are actually the very people who we aim to serve (but that requires a whole different post later). We have donations waiting in the wings and families ready to receive the blessing of furniture. It's an incredible organization that truly extends the love of Jesus Christ to all who join the story. While we're eager to accept furnishing donations and begin to provide for our friends, we first have to set-up shop. To officially open our doors and begin our operation, greeNest has a goal of $25,000. In the last two days we've collected just over $10,000 of it. God is good. People are good. While many of you who are reading this don't live in Winston-Salem, it doesn't mean that you haven't seen the Jesus' in green pants in your own places who would greatly be blessed by this ministry and organization. So I am asking you, from the bottom of my green lovin' heart, would you please help?
Donations of any amount are needed to help us reach our goal. We simply are relying on the Power of Love for greeNest to take flight. To give, visit www.greenestws.org and click on the "Powered By Love" tab to make an online donation. We also could use a hand spreading the word. Would you please share the post and request with others who also might have a place in their hearts for a Jesus in green pants? I would be forever grateful and I imagine Jesus would be, too.
.....When Fall came, I stopped seeing him. Maybe he found a home or moved to a different location. Maybe he was in a shelter or decided to reunite with family. Or maybe he was only there for a time to simply be a presence. A presence to remind us that we have a God that shows up in the most unexpected places and the most unexpected people. A God that inserts himself into our lives so WE have the benefit of living into the Gospel in real and authentic ways. Without a doubt, I am confident that if given the choice, Jesus would always choose to wear green pants. And maybe a Ramones tshirt as well. (for more information visit the website at greenestws.org and LIKE us on Facebook)