Dan. 2.

May 6, 2008

I made my way across the causeway, away from the comforts of Island living, driving down the infamous “L” street. This street leads straight to hwy 341 where the scrap metal business is located. I think it was a divine intervention when the Lord drew this urban road so close to St. Simons Island. It is only seconds after leaving the Island that “L” street meets you with dilapidated buildings, roaming police cars, crack houses, aching addicts seeking out their next hit, crowded liquor stores, and surrounding government housing. The near presence of darkness is heavy. Everytime. The Lord uses that road daily to remind me that I am not “Home” and there are souls to be won for eternity. As I cross the intersection, The Lord’s spirit rises within me and opens my eyes. I watch the faces of the residents there as I ride by. It isn’t a long road, but somehow time seems to stand still as I drive by and notice the lost eyes residing in the faces of those worn wanderers. Maybe they have a place to sleep, but their souls are in such distress. Sin, loss, pain, darkness, evil, deception. It all lies behind their eyes. They have drifted so far from the Father’s flock and are being held captive in the world’s miry pit. Lost sheep. That day I heard the sweet voice of the Lord immediately. He said “lift them up, lay them at the cross”. I prayed for each I passed and suddenly Dan came to mind again. I thought about how the Lord was seeking Him out. The Lord whispered “I leave the flock of righteous ones to find the lost one and bring him home.” Instantly I was met with a wave of conviction and adoration. My Holy God, My Creator. He cares. He loves us that much. He wants Dan home.

I wasn’t surprised when I saw Dan pulling in as soon as I got my things settled in the office that morning. The Lord has been waiting for him. Dan did not look well. It seemed he had taken an emotional beating. His spirit was so quieted within him, his smile almost undetectable. The stench of stale alcohol was profoundly heavy on his breath. He made no eye contact this morning, murmured a quiet “hello”, and handed me his ticket. My coworker, Chris, entered the office and started speaking to Dan and I realized they were finishing a conversation that had started when they were outside weighing in Dan’s cans. Chris said, “yea, man, call me, I’ll take you to a meeting anytime”. I heard the Lord’s voice, “Lay Him at my feet, Lindsay”. I walked out from behind my desk and met Dan and Chris on the other side of the glass. I said, “are you doing alright this morning, Dan?” His humble eyes stared at the floor, “well, Miss Lindsay, I’m just in that same ol’ rut, I don’t know how I got here again.” I replied, “well, it’s ok that you are there, there is a way out of that place.” Chris and I have both been there. Dan looked up and let out a deep breath. There was a defeated tone in his voice and a fear written across his face that sickened me. I knew the lies and deceptive hand of the devil had been Dan’s regular company lately. Chris continued to speak with him about AA meetings as Dan told us about his past experiences in rehab and his past failures. Dan was about to be evicted from his home. His wife was leaving to live with her sister. He was a few steps from sleeping on concrete. Dan was close to hitting the bottom of that miry pit. Chris gave Dan his number and Dan said he would call. Jesus’ gracious presence entered the room. I closed my eyes for just a second to soak Him in. The hand of Jesus mercifully reached out and longed for His child to turn toward Him. He wanted to wash Dan’s feet, clean his wounds, hold him for a little while. As Dan started out the door, the Holy Spirit clenched my voice and I called out to Dan. He was making his way to his shabby blue car. “Dan, would it be ok if I prayed with you?” Honestly, part of me thought, “crap”. Thankfully, the power of the Lord consumed the circumstances and reached for Dan. I placed my hand on his shoulder and lifted him to Jesus. I prayed for every need I had mentioned and prayed for the needs only God recognized. Dan was quiet when I finished and thanked me softly. He sat in his car for a long time before pulling away. I burned with longing for Dan’s salvation; for his release and freedom.

A few days later, I was eating dinner with James and we got a phone call. Chris, our worker, had received a call from Dan’s wife. She told Chris that Dan was extremely drunk and had walked out in front of a car in an attempt to end his life. She told Chris that Dan had been sitting in the street and said, “call the people up at that scrap metal business; I need help”. Chris was able to get Dan into the emergency room where he could be admitted to the hospital and safely detoxed due to his blood pressure. Dan had told us that he wanted to quit drinking, but just didn’t know how to stop. He said his mind was weak and his blood pressure was so high that detoxing from alcohol would cause him to have a heart attack. He was right, yet we knew Lord was more powerful than the chains of his disease. Jesus was making a way.

We didn’t hear from Dan for a few weeks, but one foggy morning that shabby blue car rolled into the scrap yard. A smiling, bright face made his way toward us. There was life dwelling in that man. Dan told us he was admitted into a recovery center in Savannah and had been clean for a month so far. He was going to live with some relatives and start a new job. We haven’t seen Dan since. It is a possibility we haven’t seen Dan because he no longer needs to scrap cans to gain a little bit of cash for a can of beer. There are a lot of possibilities. I don’t know the end to his story. I do know the Lord seeks to keep Dan out of that pit. He seeks him diligently. He wants all of his sheep. He will make a way. I’m overwhelmed every time I remember that My beloved Shepard chose to come and bring me back. His amazing grace even saved a wretch like me.

for my 3 faithful readers (possibly less)…

April 28, 2008

I’m finishing the Dan story this week…  I think I’ve allowed enough time to pass…  sorry for the cliffhanger, guys.

Dan.

March 14, 2008

tired I first saw Dan about 2 months ago when I started helping James run the scrap metal business. Unlike most of our other customers, Dan had a gentleness about his spirit. He was clearly gripped by the merciless hand of alcoholism, yet he was always polite and offered a sincere conversation most mornings. Dan was overweight and breathed heavily as he made his way from his car to the scales to have his metal weighed in. His hair was often in dissaray and his white t shirt was smudged with dirt and accompanied by a ripped pair of navy blue sweat pants. Dan came almost every day. He brought what ever strips of copper he had left from the trailor he had recently torn down and usually brought just enough cans to receive 2 or 3 dollars. Dan was aware that his situation was apparent to those around him. Dan had confessed to my coworker, Chris, that he needed a beer and that he couldnt make it through the day without a drink; he offered Chris a broken watch hoping he could receive some extra change for it. His forehead was damp with perspiration, his complexion flushed, and his hands trembling. Withdrawals were relentless… surviving the day meant just enough alcohol to maintain. The open brutality of the effects of years drowning in alcohol consumed Dan. My heart would clench as he approached my desk with his head down; He would say “Good Morning, Miss Lindsay, I brought a few cans for you again today.” Oh, Lord! I would cry inside, draw this trapped soul into Your Arms and heal him from this disease. Though his torment was masked by a fondness in his smile and his kind demeanor, I knew when he drove away from the scrap yard, he was battling a dark giant… day after day… minute after minute… I pleaded with the Lord to rescue him and I longed for opportunities to be a vessel for Jesus to love on Dan.

One morning, things were different. It was a humid morning with a sheet of mist hovering in the air. The weather was typical for a winter day in southeast Georgia- warm and muggy. Driving my 30 minute commute to work, I wrestled with the Lord as an image of Dan stepped into my thoughts. I felt a twinge of aggravation in my heart because I was tired and content in simply making it through the day by following my mundane routine; I shamefully acknowledged my lack of desire to dig into God’s will that morning… but the Lord, as always, had something different in mind…. (to be continued)

the two men in my life.

February 28, 2008

macchapter2.jpg James macchapter3.jpg Tyler

God’s blessings are just so sweet. I couldn’t write any further without giving props to these fellows…. they put up with me the most, and I get to marry one of them! p.s. have to give props to the ring too…

macchapter32.jpg

Hello world!

February 27, 2008

Matthew 25:40

Jesus has a way of conveying a beauty that can hardly be described by words. It’s a beauty that seeps from the cracks of these broken lives we lead. When we share an intimate relationship with our Beloved, we can catch glimpses of the world through His Eyes. The images we see can grip our hearts and change our souls. The suppressed image we create in our minds of our God is revolutionized; we realize how much more we have to know of Him. When we see His magnificence in the raw, grueling circumstances of those who lead the loneliest of lives, we are transformed. We grow. The very fiber of our being becomes more intertwined with The Creator of the Universe and the architect of our souls. After moving to St. Simons Island in July of 2006, I was deeply moved by experiences surrounding the Lord’s beauty being revealed in the “trenches”. I took the hand of my Savior in anticipation and was lead down a road that He had paved for me in order to teach me and refine my faith. I have worked in the field of shattered lives, broken spirits, and profound heartache. Although the Lord has opened my eyes to the terror of satan’s destruction, He has furthermore revealed His own brilliant splendor. I moved to St. Simons with a simple hope of using my social work skills obtained through a bachelor’s degree at Auburn University, and God has exceeded meeting my desire to serve the weak and abandoned of the world by a vast margin. I burn with a longing to share the deeds and heart of our gracious God. His extraordinary presence is reaching the most ordinary of little towns such as ours on the coast of Georgia. He is adding chapters to the love story that started at the cross. From here forth I will share what He has revealed in the pages I have read so far…..