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“THAT GUY DOESN’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE”

BY RUSS HOBBS

It was 10:30AM and I was sitting in the local Starbucks sipping a latte, fiddling with my I-pad and watching people!  There was this guy in his late fifties sitting in the corner in a leather chair shifting the weight of his body from side to side.  He looked uncomfortable.  He was staring at a female barista and appeared to be annoyed.  He began to tap the fingers of his right hand on the armrest of his chair.

“A simple cup of coffee, just a daggone cup of coffee, that’s all I want!  Is that too much to ask?  I’ve been sitting here for twenty-five minutes.  I have things to do and places to be!  Really, is it too much to expect a little courtesy and service anywhere these days?”

“Are you talking to me?”  I asked as I looked at the large man in the leather chair.

“I’m not talking to you!  I’m NOT talking to anybody, obviously!  Because nobody knows I’m even here.” The man glared with anger toward the counter where three clerks were busy preparing beverages for several customers waiting to be served.

“There’s no respect for anybody these days!  People could care less about you and what you need. “As long as they have or get what they want, you’re just a means to an end!  Money, money, money.”

“That’s kind of cynical, isn’t it?”

“I suppose, but it sure seems that way to me.”

“I don’t know but it sounds to me like you’re annoyed about something more than coffee.”  I sat my raspberry latte on a coffee table between our chairs.  “It sounds to me like you could use a friend with a listening ear.”

“I guess, this has been a hell of a year, if you know what I mean.” The man seemed to be looking at me and studying my mannerisms.  Perhaps, to see if I really was a listening friend or I was just uncomfortably commenting and trying to terminate further discussion.

“Why don’t you tell me?”  I said.

“In the past five months, I’ve lost a wife, a home and a job!  I used to live over there on Lehman Street, I was there for forty-eight years.  In April my wife Brenda died from breast cancer.  We were married for almost fifty years.  I lost a home that my parents had lived in because I had to re mortgage it so many times because of the instability of my job and work hours.  I couldn’t keep up with the mortgage payments and lost the place in June!  The mom and pop store and garage that I had worked for most of my life went out of business and closed in August.  I’m just screwed, you know what I mean?”

“Wow!  I really am speechless!  I’m so sorry.  There just are no words..”  I paused and looked at the man, he wiped away some tears.  I extended my hand to him.  “I’m Russ.”

“Tim Sterling.”  He shook my hand.

“I mean, so where are you living right now?”

“I’m hanging out at a buddy’s house since late June.  But, I can’t stay there forever, I’m living in their basement right now.  But Roger, that’s my friends name has a family.  He has a wife and three kids.  My being there is kind of awkward.  But, I’m either there or on the street!”

“You really do need a friend, huh?  You need a Jesus kind of friend, right?”

“Tim glared arrogantly again, this time in my direction.  “what the hell makes you think I need Jesus Christ?”

For a moment, I was stunned, then I stood to my feet and walked toward Tim.  I said, “because guys like us all need someone who can walk on water, someone who heals broken hearts and mends troubled souls.”

“Tim” the barista called as she sat the cup of coffee on the counter.

The decision to accept or reject Jesus as Savior is the ultimate life decision. Why do many people choose to reject Jesus as Savior? There are perhaps as many different reasons for rejecting Christ as there are people who reject Him, but the following four reasons can serve as general categories.

1) Some people do not think they need a savior. But Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). Those who reject Christ will not be able to stand before God and successfully plead their own case on their own merits.

2) The fear of social rejection or persecution deters some people from receiving Christ as Savior. The unbelievers in John 12:42-43 would not confess Christ because they were more concerned with their status among their peers than doing God's will.

3) For some people, the things that the present world has to offer are more appealing than eternal things. We read the story of such a man in Matthew 19:16-23.

4) Many people are simply resisting the Holy Spirit's attempts to draw them to faith in Christ. Whatever the reasons why people reject Jesus Christ, their rejection has disastrous eternal consequences. "There is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved" than the name of Jesus (Acts 4:12), and those who reject Him face an eternity in the "outer darkness" of hell where there will be "weeping and gnashing of teeth" (Matthew 25:30).

 

© 2019 by Russell E. Hobbs

 

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