Walking down the street in a bad part of town staring at the ground not knowing what to do. I hadn’t a dime to my name or anywhere to crash for the night. I was without work, home or food and I was only 19. I was all out of drugs and alcohol and coming down wasn’t the best feeling. I had reached a point in my life when I needed to do something, anything to change how I was living. The only thing that came to mind was to strong-arm a gas station. If I got away with it then I would have cash for a bit and if I got caught then I would go to jail having food and a place to sleep. On my way to the gas station, my feet decided to take me to a payphone directly in front of the station and I dialed the police. I proceeded to tell them what I was about to do, then hung up. I couldn’t believe what I had just done but didn’t really care. I walked myself next to the building and sat down with my head in my hands. A squad car pulled up and two officers stepped out they calmly walked over to where I sat. The driver took a moment to look at me for a minute before he spoke. He asked me what I was doing and I told him that I wasn’t sure. Giving him the rundown on my life I began to cry uncontrollably. The officer told me that in all his years on the force he had never received a call like that before. He told me that he could take me to jail or take me to a homeless shelter near us. He said that he didn’t want me to go to jail, that he could tell that I wanted help. I didn’t even know what a shelter was but he explained it to me on the way. He spoke with the owner and I was allowed to stay. The first night we had soup and bread and went upstairs to a giant room with over a hundred bunk beds. The first night was rough since I hadn’t any idea what to expect but it got better as time went on. I did have a girlfriend at the time and she came and visited me from time to time. The owners had me on a schedule sorting through bread and pastries as they were donated and handing out the soap in the communal shower. I made friends quickly with just about everyone. I landed a job shortly after and moved in with my girlfriend who later became my wife. It was 16 or 17 years later that I came to walk with God, but I believe that God was looking out for me long before I met Him. Many years later I’m a board member at the Oakdale Rescue Mission and proud of it. I get a chance to touch the hearts of everyone I tell my stories to. God gave me a gift that I want to give to others, and that is “a chance”, just like how God gave that officer to give to me. I challenge you to look back at the earliest parts of your life and see how God has intervened, veering you towards a better life. I praise God for the opportunity to help others the way he has helped me. Are U up for the challenge?
Published by Matthew, Karen, and God
Karen Guthrie, a retired Bank Manager, Vice President, and Matthew Moore, who works in construction, are members of the same church. In March 2014, they both joined the Oakdale Rescue Mission Board of Directors. They started sharing their stories with one another on how God has greatly impacted their lives. View more posts