Skid Row is never the same two weeks in a row.
This last Friday night I met a man named Earl. He's a Vietnam war veteran, a drunk, and a drug addict--and wanting the truth. On Thursday, he and a friend were sitting on the corner of Towne and 5th just drinking and talking like any other day on Skid Row. But his friend got up and walked across the street. And a Toyota pick-up pulled up and a shot sounded. And Earl's friend went to face his eternal fate.
Earl didn't explain why his friend was shot. But he did explain the impact that event had on him. I read Job out loud to him and he started crying. I read John 1 and we talked about the Savior, how our only hope is that of Job, "I know my Redeemer lives, and in the end He will stand on the earth."
He begged us to tell him how he can be sure of his eternal fate...I can still hear his earnest "please, please tell me" ringing in my ears. And so my friends explained salvation, about how we have to make Jesus Christ both savior and lord. And there's the problem. Earl doesn't want to give up his sin. "It's so hard here," he said. And I believe him. It's so hard for me to fight sin living at the Master's College, surrounded by almost every conceivable help to living a holy life. How much harder it must be on the streets of Skid Row, where sin in its basest and most addicting forms is available at every corner.
We talked to him for almost two hours, reading the Word and preaching the truth. And still when we left he told us that he was going to finish his bottle before going to sleep. My heart broke. How could he so earnestly desire to know the truth and still cling so stubbornly to his besetting sins? We tried to show him the true beauty of God and how much more valuable He is than anything else, we prayed for him, we (I) cried as we brought his plight before God. And yet I still can't shake the thought that he's going to sleep tonight on the sidewalks of Skid Row not knowing where he might wake up.
So I'm asking you to pray for him. Pray that God will break the power sin has over him in order to bring Earl to Himself. Please.