Father, Son and Spirit, fall afresh on me this morning as I begin my week centered in the triune of your love.
“Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.” (Luke 6:20)
My wife and I are renovating a foreclosed house in a lower income neighborhood in Birmingham that are two daughters will live in while the attend Birmingham Southern College. It is an ongoing labor of love that has included to a few trials and also a few blessings, As part of the renovation we needed the HVAC system updated. I called a couple HVAC companies that came out and looked at our system. Thy either gave me a very steep price for doing the work, or never came back or returned my follow up calls. Nancy and I were driving around the neighborhood and I passed a house. It had broken windows in the front that were boarded up and looked run down. What caught my eye was there was three AC condensing units of various sizes sitting in the front yard. Nancy said, “maybe they are stolen.” I said yes, or maybe the person that lives there works for a HVAC company and brings the old units that he replaced with new ones home.
The next day I went back to the house. I walked up on the front porch in need of repair and knocked on the door (the door bell did not work). A young black man in his early 20’s came to the door, shirtless, with tattoos on his body smoking from a vape. He looked at me with curious surprise as why a white man was knocking at his door. I asked him about the units in his front yard and if anyone in the house does HVAC work. He said he and his dad does, and went back in the house to get his dad. A few minutes latter his dad, Nick came out. And as we started to talk about the HVAC units, and Nick told me his story, I began to be blessed.
Nick worked for an HVAC company for over 15 years. He said the owner treated him almost like a slave, but it was a steady paycheck and he was a hard worker, so he stayed with the company. Nick said not quite two years ago he had a stroke, it affect the right side of his body. His right leg would not work right and he walked with a limp, and his right arm if he did not consciously push it down would raise up and his hand curl up at his side like a T-Rex arm. The company owner called him and said if he did not get back to work he would be fired. So 4 days after his stroke, with one good arm and limping, Nick went back to work. He tried but he had a relapse. The Doctor told him he needed to quit work, get rest, and do therapy for 90 days or he could be crippled for life. Nick told this to his boss, told him I have worked for you for 15 years and asked for a 90 day leave from work. His boss said no, and fired him. The house he is living in was also owned by his boss. He lived in it for 11 years and was renting it to own from him. He only had a couple months payments left for the house to be his, and his boss went back on his word, and said he was not getting the house, but only could continue renting it. So Nick lost every penny he put into the house.
Nick said his father was a preacher. And he and his dad prayed over his condition daily. He said God did a miraculous healing of his body. He is back to perfect condition and use of his leg and arm are back to normal. He praised God for his healing and deliverance.
He then said that he has started doing HVAC work on his own. He said the units in front of his house are from houses he has replaced with new units. He said because of how God has blessed me, I want to be a blessing to others. So he fixes the units, and then uses them and installs them in people’s homes in his neighborhood who are poor, their AC in their home has gone out, and cannot afford a new unit. So he installs these units for them. Nick is a blessing to his neighborhood. And he was a blessing to me. I asked him if he would look at my HVAC system and he did. And he and his son worked on and fixed my system, did an amazing job, and at a tenth of what the other “Christian companies with ICTHUS fish” on their business cards wanted to charge me.
Before I walked off of Nick’s porch that first time we met, we prayed together, praised God together, and I walked away having heard one of the best sermons I heard in a long time. We had “church” on his front porch, and I walked away both convicted of any prejudice thoughts I may have had, and totally blessed and encouraged by the presence of God I encountered. Jesus says all through out the Gospels, My ways are not like the ways of man. My kingdom does not look like mans kingdom. So why do I still think otherwise? Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy.
My family, I pray this morning you as you begin your week you will pray that the Spirit opens your eyes to see his kingdom around you. It is not where you think it is. I pray the Holy Spirit will lead you to encounter the poor. Not just so you can be a blessing to them, but so they can teach and be a blessing to you. In Jesus’ name! Please pray the same for me. God bless you my friends!
Please share your thoughts and reflections in the comment box below.
Gary Liederbach- Lead Follower
One Direction Community
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