Just thinking about how sweet times were. We spent quality time whenever together. In retrospect, loving relationships are usually not so positive as ours was.
Sure times were tough but together it didn’t seem to mind us. Both extroverts, we didn’t lose sight and one-on-one connection we had. There were so many things to enjoy. Even the mundane was joyful.
What made my last love wonderful is that we both loved God. With none of my past romantic relationships was this so true. Sundays we were happy to explore different Christian worship and Bible study services together.
Given our common interests and times we spent, it is hard to believe we have not seen or spoken for more than a year. The miles and circumstances have kept us apart.
I thought a reunion was iniment after she got out of prison. I was thinking that she wanted to build back her self-esteem before living together as we had planned. I was willing to wait.
Now we have missed spending a Christmas, birthdays, and Mothers’ Day together. We still have our memories when meeting in the Rocky Mountains. Thus my hope has waned. Yet my love remains.
My last love. I understand how other people who might have spent decades married cannot form another loving relationship. While never married I feel like I was fully committed.
What a “sap”. I still carry around the letters, the last ones written last September 2015, she sent me from prison in Northern Nevada.
Fortunately, she was released early. She never should have been incarcerated but perhaps you have seen how determined insurance company lawyers can be. Her crime was to take her elderly mother’s car, without asking permission, across state lines into California and totaling the sedan. Mom was too upset to halt the legal proceedings. I have seven month of love letters sent from prison to prove it. A good prisoner she was. Quickly becoming a trustee helping to prepare meals for about 55 fellow prisoners.
When you read this, perhaps God, you will urge her to get in touch with me, soon.
The late winter period in Reno was close to hell on earth. The city has a terrific ghetto that includes three dining rooms and three shelters on Record Street.
During his nine and a half months of homelessness, by faith and Christian practice he has survived. Fortitude, prayer, and attempting to live like a saint was difficult. How in the world did he make it through it all? By dealing with chronic illnesses, mental anguish, sleep apnea, physical pain, and keeping God first in his life.
Similarly to his patron saint, St. Francis of Assisi, he lived an austere life among the poor and homeless. It seemed appropriate that he not resort to begging or complaining; but be humble and grateful for the regular hot meals offered five times a week by the Extended Table at the Methodist Church and daytime support of the Feed My Sheep ministry.
He came to Garfield County seeking help from emergency rooms. Within eight hours after getting off the eastbound train, he was seen at Valley View Hospital. After three consecutive nightly visits, he was ordered not to come back or the local police would arrest him for trespassing.
In two months, he was more than 15 pounds underweight!
Similarly to the life of St. Francis, he did not care for his health like he should. Food was regularly eaten that caused gastrointestinal problems and often stomach aches.
His weight dropped to the lowest it has been since high school. In March 2015, he weighed only 162 pounds (in 2004 his weight was 335 lbs.).
David remembers sleeping under the stars and waking up several times many nights. His exposed ribs were so sore on the left side for lying on top of them on the hillside.
You might think that he had nowhere to turn; the priests of St. Stephens were there for counseling and celebrating mass every day.
He did not complain, prayed to stay in a constant state of gratitude, helping those disadvantaged, keeping out of harm’s way, denying himself eyeglasses, clothing, dental care, and footwear that he needed, making do with what he had, saving money from his monthly Social Security check, searching for affordable housing, and keeping a positive attitude.
Psalm 142 demonstrates the petitioner’s trust in God:
1 I cry aloud to the LORD; I lift up my voice to the LORD for mercy.
2 I pour out my complaint before him; before him I tell my trouble.
3 When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who know my way. In the path where I walk men have hidden a snare for me.
4 Look to my right and see; no one is concerned for me. I have no refuge; no one cares for my life.
5 I cry to you, O LORD; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.”
6 Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need; rescue me from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me.
7 Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name. Then the righteous will gather about me because of your goodness to me
It was in June that he got off the eastbound California Zephyr with health problems. He has remained in town getting good medical help. Recently, he was diagnosed with three cavities. When you are homeless, you don’t have much control over what is available to eat. Dental hygiene suffers, too.
One morning he awoke soaked by a hard and heavy falling nocturnal rain. He had attempted to sleep inside two trash bags that night on Lookout Mountain. Shaking uncontrollably, David was able to walk back at daybreak into town with his wet sleeping bag and suitcase and backpack filled with rain-saturated clothing.
This was not his low point.
One day, the GSPD woke him up at 2:20 a.m. in front of St. Stephens Catholic Church and threw him in jail. It seems like by being homeless in Glenwood Springs, he was also a criminal. That 16-hour Friday (August First) stay in County Jail was very painful. His jailers would not offer him any of his prescription medicine. So painful and disoriented, he lost all track of time and laid in the cell cold with chronic back and gastrointestinal distress.
By the grace of God, a municipal judge opened court on a Friday afternoon and arranged for bail on his own reconnaissance. Thus he would not have to spend the entire weekend in lockup.
The local police department had been bird-dogging his homeless activities since the second day he was in Glenwood Springs. Near the Phillips 66 station, he was stopped while walking by. He was questioned and the police officer took his photograph – no crime had been committed, though.
He first came to Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Denver on June 24. On October 2, he returned and received three bags and one box of groceries from Lift Up.
In the 15 weeks of homelessness, he survived:
waves of bugs and insects,
hunger and thirst,
getting run over by trucks that could not have been seen,
cold night temperatures,
getting shot by a waitress at a Rifle restaurant,
falling off a cliff while sleepwalking,
ill-prepared food and dysentery,
misplaced anger and violence,
the municipal judicial system,
unreliable public transportation,
being thrown out of the emergency room,
allergy reactions and anaphylactic shock,
running out of medicine,
or being swept downstream in the rapidly flowing river.
Christian author Max Lucado is a preacher with a storyteller’s gift, a pastor’s heart, and a poet’s pen.
I Choose Joy…
I will invite my God to be the God of circumstance.
I will refuse the temptation to be cynical.
I will refuse to see people as anything less than human beings, created by God.
I will refuse to see any problem as anything less than an opportunity to see God.
Max’s sermons begin at home with the congregation of Oak Hills Church near San Antonio, which he has led for more than 25 years. It is in this setting that his stories are first told, from a pastor’s heart.
Eventually some of these sermons and stories are refined and fashioned into books that are shared far beyond the walls of Oak Hills and the city limits of Texas. Max’s writings are around the world nowadays in more than 54 languages via more than 120 million products. Most of these products are books (over 92,000,000 distributed), occupying ratings on every major national bestseller list.
Max Lucado has been featured over the years in countless national media outlets. He has been dubbed “America’s Pastor” by Reader’s Digest and even The New York Times Max named Max one of the most influential leaders this century in social media.
Max’s pastor’s heart, which longs to encourage the brokenhearted and to bind-up/heal the hurt and pain, moves Max to another sermon and his next book. His mission is simple —by God— to overflow toward others His grace and encouragement that has been lavished on him and others he has witnessed.
To begin with; Max was born in a small town in West Texas, as the youngest son of an oil field mechanic and a nurse. He grew up ‘churched’ but as a teenager took a different road by walking away from his parent’s faith.