My mother passed on December 23, 1992. In the last months of her life, I asked her if she had any regrets. She had, by that time, become more introspective and reflective about the people, events—the transcendent joys, and abject disappointments that influenced the trajectory of her life. Without hesitation she shared a moment when, as a teenager, the school bus she was riding made a stop near the downtown railroad tracks. As she peered out of the window, she saw a homeless man beside the bus. He was dirty, unshaven, and disheveled. He looked up and, in an instant, locked eyes with my mom. She knew him! He recognized his daughter and began to raise his hand, a wan smile growing on a worry worn and weathered face. One of the three children he was forced to hand over to the welfare authorities years earlier was framed in the window of the bus—radiant, hopeful—alive! The girl sitting next to her witnessed this connection and asked my mom if she recognized the man. Mom, as if awakened from a dream too startlingly real, turned away from the window. “No” she said. “I don’t know him.” She was ashamed to admit that this “hobo” was her father and now, as the bus began to roll away, forever haunted by the look in his eyes when she glanced back at him as the bus ambled away.
My awareness of the plight of the homeless was born in that moment at my mom’s bedside. Our family has spent many years since participating in and supporting homeless ministries as musicians, intercessors, and teachers. When we began searching for a church home several months ago we set, as one standard, a church deeply rooted in community service and outreach. After a concerted search over several weeks, we ended up on the doorstep of Life Point Church.
Pastor Danny Rivers shared with us, that first morning in the lobby, that he was functioning on a few hours sleep because of a congregant’s medical emergency that kept him at the hospital into the early morning hours. He asked for prayer on that man’s behalf then, greeted other folks entering the first service. Natural. Not an ounce of pretention. Our first visit coincided with the 401 class which, after each service, makes available many of the ministry opportunities to interested congregants. We’ve learned since that our pastor is a sensitive, powerful, spirit-filled, man of God. His messages are on point. He supports, encourages, and actively participates in Life Point’s numerous ministries and surrounds himself with like-minded Dream Teamers who diligently and joyfully preserve the excellence-in-all-things mentality of their senior pastor. We too, are members of the Dream Team and are pleased to join our brothers and sisters as the hands and feet of Jesus in service to the one true Living God.
The true inspiration lies in John Thomas McLeod life’s story.
Click here to read his life’s story.
Published by Dean Evans