I had the privilege of preaching at 2nd Baptist Church of Houston a few years back. It is a mega church in Houston led by my friend Pastor Ed Young. They have several campuses and many thousands of members. After preaching several services at the main campus I was transferred in a van to the Katy, Texas, campus late Sunday morning for my final sermon. I had a wonderful time with the congregation. As I said my good byes, I headed across the highway from this affluent church to fill my truck with gas before driving back to San Antonio. I was dressed in my suit like most of the people there.
As I was pumping gas I noticed two young men walk out of the convenience store. I guessed they were homeless judging by their tattered clothes and unkempt look. The Lord prompted me to look for them after I got gas to see if I could help them. I looked around the strip center for them but they were nowhere to be found. I even parked and walked into several stores hoping to find them. Finally I gave up and went out and stood by my truck and prayed. As I did, here they came from behind the buildings walking right towards me.
When they got near I asked how they were doing. They said fine and walked over where I engaged them in a conversation. They told me they were “hobos” and proud of it. They hopped trains and traveled the country, part of a large contingent of hobos all around the country. I was fascinated. Our conversation led to Jesus and they both said they were believers. I asked how I could help them.
Father’s day was a week away and one of them said that he had a baby and girlfriend in Louisiana and would love a ride if I were heading that way. I was going in the opposite direction but said I’d buy him a bus ticket if there were a bus station near by. He was surprised and full of hope. He said that there was a bus station in Katy so he and his friend hopped in the bed of my pick-up and off we went.
Soon we arrived at the bus stop. A man was barbequing chicken on a charcoal grill in the parking lot of a minimalist convenience store that also served as the bus depot in Katy. He was cooking corn and beans as well. I asked if they were hungry. After purchasing the ticket to Louisiana, we sat at a picnic table and feasted on chicken and beans and corn and had wonderful fellowship; me in my suit, they in their tattered clothes. The world stood still for each of us. The fellowship was genuine and stories flowed.
When the day started, I was excited about sharing life with the thousands at 2nd Baptist. When I left the two hobos at the bus stop, I was filled with joy at the gift of friendship with two young men. Only God could have put us together. I drove away in awe at how God uses the juxtapositions of life to speak to our souls.