By Jeremy Reynalds, Ph.D.
Founder and CEO
Joy Junction Inc.
Down and Out on Rt 66-Taking People Where They’re At
It was a typical Thursday evening in Albuquerque’s Nob Hill. People were enjoying the nice weather, and the bars and restaurants were bustling with business.
My assistant Kathy Sotelo and I were looking forward to winding down a rewarding, but busy and long day’s work.
Just pulling out of a store parking lot, we noticed Sally (not her real name) sitting desolately outside a local store. I stopped the car, and Kathy got out and asked her if she was okay. She said she was alright, but was hungry. Kathy then identified herself as being from Joy Junction, and offered her a fast food gift card.
Sally accepted it gratefully and asked about me. I then got out of the car, where she greeted me by name and gave me a big hug.
Kathy continued her conversation with Sally, who it turned out didn’t even know where she was. She claimed to have been “dropped off” by a local hospital, and while we have no means of verifying that claim, over the years at Joy Junction we have occasionally had a small number of people who have, quite literally, been “dropped off” at the shelter in their hospital gowns.
An overtly inebriated man entered the conversation, who it appeared had been panhandling for booze. His speech was slurred, and he appeared more than a little disoriented. However, Sally knew him and it appeared he did have a room in a low end motel somewhere close to our location.
He offered to give our friend a place to stay for the night, which she gratefully accepted. We did offer her a place to stay at Joy Junction, which she declined-gracefully. So we gave him a fast food gift card as well, breathed a silent prayer for them and went on our way.
Just as we left, the woman referred to us as “angels,” and thanked us profusely for having cared enough to stop and make sure she was okay.
So what had we done? I can’t report any salvations, miracles, or deliverances. And today-almost 48 hours later- I have no idea where either this woman or her friend are, or whether we will ever see them again.
That notwithstanding, I believe something supernatural had occurred. Years ago, I started praying that the Lord would begin opening my eyes to see the need and examples of human suffering around me. He did, and quite often Kathy and I will see many people in dire circumstances invisible to others.
All we want to do is to ease at least a bit of their human suffering, and be an extension of the Love of Jesus Christ to their troubled and often desperate lives. Just like Jesus did, we take people exactly where they’re at and ask Him to clean them up and make them whole.
Sadly (and really, tragically) many Christians have become guilty of proclaiming a message that says in effect, “Get yourself cleaned up, and then come to Jesus and then He’ll help you.”
Jesus says, “Comes to me just as you are, and I will clean you up.” What a message.
Believe me. If you are looking for “ministry,” there is no shortage of people to help. All you have to do is be willing to be used by God and be non-judgmental. If you adopt that mindset, many wonderful things will happen in your life. You’ll not only make an impact-one life at a time- in the people whom you encourage, but the experiences will also begin to change your life. Will you at least try, and let me know what happens?
If you’d like to know more about what we do at Joy Junction, and how we can help you in your quest to help make a difference in the lives of others, call us at 505 877 6967. or visit us at www.joyjunction.org