I rushed back to the church centre to fetch a sleeping bag and some clothes for Gary.
He had stashed his entirely worldly belongings into a bundle of tied up plastic bags and it had been moved. Most likely thrown away rather than nicked, mistaken for bags of rubbish.
As I hurried from the Cathedral Square leaving my fellow city centre chaplains I turned to look at the man walking beside me. We greeted one another and as we said our hello’s I held my hand out to him to shake his. We introduced ourselves to each other and then walked and talked together and he asked what I was doing.
I found myself explaining that I was like a shepherd in the city, but rather than the wooly kind I was looking after the people kind of sheep. I explained about the sleeping bag that I was fetching and that I also love to pray for people.
He stopped and in the middle of the shopping centre asked if I gave advice to people for their lives. “Do you have a word of advice for me?” He asked.
“Yes I do.” I confidently responded.
“My advice to you is this: Put your hand into the hand of Jesus.”
As I said those words the presence of the One I spoke about turned up and he said that he felt ‘power’ pour out of me to him. He then asked if I would pray for him. As I did so he encountered the very One I was asking him to put his hand into.