Last week I met up with my good friend and co-worker Glyn Jones who heads up The Light Project in Chester. Glyn leads our FDA degree programme in Theology and Evangelism, a course accredited by the University of Chester and was busy getting ready for our new cohort of students.
We spent time talking over a curry, but beforehand Glyn had asked a man who is homeless what he needed. He asked us if we could get him some food.
Our conversation went on and time was running short to get Glyn’s friend some food before I had to catch a train home, so I asked the owner of the restaurant if he would consider giving us some curry and rice for us to pass on to the guy who is homeless out in the streets. He gave me a generous bag-full with rice and a curry and he popped in some naan bread too with the plastic fork and napkin.
So, carrying a hot steaming curry out of the restaurant we went to look for the guy, but he was nowhere to be seen.
Glyn said that he was sure I would find someone to pass it on to as he bidded me farewell at the train station! So with his words still ringing in my ears I looked around the station, up and down the platforms for someone who was hungry but I didn’t find anyone.
So the curry accompanied me into the train. On the first leg of my train journey I asked the guy sitting opposite me if he was hungry and fancied a hot curry… But he had just had his dinner. I wasn’t perturbed as the curry smelt so good and it was still hot! In Crewe station I had 20 minutes before my next train and marched off to search for someone who needed feeding! I looked up and down station road but didn’t meet anyone who was hungry… Now the curry was warm.
On the train down to London the curry sat on my table seat… Getting cold. Two hours later as we pulled into Euston station I thought of leaving the full bag of now stone cold curry on the table, but I had a niggling thought that I may just still meet someone who needed a cold curry! (Besides, leaving it on the train would have been a bit impolite for the train cleaners I thought.)
So as I walked out of Euston station nearly at midnight, to catch my final train back home from Kings Cross I was greeted by a man dressed in army camouflage uniform sitting and begging on the street. I gently explained that I didn’t have any money that I could give but I did have a cold curry if he fancied it. His eyes lit up as he exclaimed ‘cold curry!?- yes please!’
We spoke for a while and he shared some thoughts he had about God and the ‘gift of Jesus’ for him. It’s true, I enthused… God gave Jesus for us.
He showed me his bullet wounds and a scrapped scarred head where the bullet had missed and hadn’t killed him. Instead a line remained where it had grazed a chunk from his furrowed brow.
He asked if I would come back soon to talk with his friends who were also ex-service men and homeless. ‘They need someone like you to talk to them’ he gently explained.
As I left he shouted “the Holy Spirit sent you to me today!”
It’s amazing what God will use to connect us with others and share good golden news. He will even use a cold curry without which I wouldn’t have stopped to talk and connect with the camouflaged man.