The Man in the Orange Coat

“Would the man in the orange coat please come up front?” Phil asked. Phil, a recent addition to the ministry at Higher Power Church, spoke on a Sunday night at the service where the homeless and those in need of food gather. Along with a hot meal, comes the opportunity for people to hear about Jesus and receive prayer. That night, Phil sensed that this man needed just that.
The gentleman slowly walked forward and within minutes, the pastor, Angel Willson, Phil and several other men surrounded him and prayed. In the background, the room resounded in music from a saxophone, drums and guitars. The dear fellow shared his plight: homeless, penniless and deeply discouraged; he declared his desire to commit suicide. Nowhere to go and only food stamps in his pocket gave him little to live for. He had been to other churches, knew of God, but his hope was quickly slipping away.
I sat watching in the audience with my friend Marlene next to me. Marlene is a senior lady filled with love for Jesus and everyone in which she comes in contact. That night was no exception. Let me explain further.
Earlier in the evening, Dave, an enthusiastic Christian who is also a newcomer to the church, handed me a twenty dollar bill. He stated he wanted to help pay for the food that several of us provide for the homeless. I thanked him for his generosity and told my friend Marcella about the money. Together, we decided to give the twenty dollars to Marlene who lives on a fixed income but faithfully buys and prepares dinners every week. We decided she needed the money most, so I passed it on to her.
As Marlene sat next to me watching the prayer for the man in the orange coat, she leaned over to me saying, “I want to give this 20 dollar bill to him.”
The first words out of my mouth were, “No, it was given to you for buying food.”
“I think I’m supposed to give it to him,” she responded with assurance.
“Well, it’s not my money, it’s not your money; it’s Jesus’ money, so you do whatever He tells you to do,” I said.
When prayer for the man was over, Marlene walked up front, took the man aside and said, “Jesus told me to give you this,” as she handed him the money.
“Did he really say that? Are you sure?” He asked with surprise.
Marlene, in her wonderful loving way and as only a grandmother type can do; hugged him and told him how much Jesus loved him. She went on to encourage him and exhort him to never give up. “My father felt the same way you do, and he did give up. I don’t want that to happen to you,” she passionately relayed to him.
This man walked out of the church that night different than the way he came in. It was only $20. However, Marlene, prompted by the Holy Spirit, and a group of earnest men praying fervently, gave life back to someone contemplating death. What a difference love and prayer can make!