Thursday, August 15, 2013

There was a creepy guy at the beach.

He was the only one wearing long pants and long sleeves on a sweltering August day at Alouette Lake.  
I didn’t know he was creepy at first, he just looked… overdressed.   I saw him take a few pictures of Beatrice, who was making a pile of rocks.  It didn’t bother me at first; she’s cute, she’s stacking stones, it’s not like we were changing her or anything.  As he walked away, Joanne and I saw another woman walk hurriedly toward him and proceed to animatedly chew him out, demanding to be shown the pictures on his phone.

I thought, well maybe he took a picture of her kid and she didn’t want that.  Once they’d finished and parted, Joanne decided to go ask her what that was all about.  She came back and told me that the woman had demanded to see the pictures on his phone, and they had all been pictures of the crotches of girls.  Just girls.  Just their crotches.

I took off to try to find him.  I made one loop through the crowd and then Joanne joined me and we made another loop together, to no avail.  He’d probably left quickly after being confronted.

We were more than a little nauseated the rest of the day.
My next day at work, the phone rings and it’s a guy looking for help.  (Not the same guy.)  He’d been arrested for possession of child porn and I guess was out on bail until his court date.  I agreed to meet with him.  After I hung up, I thought, what am I doing?  I do NOT want to meet with this guy.

I meet with a lot of guys.  I hear a lot of horrible stories, lives coming apart, men desperate for change.  But after the event at the lake, I did not want to hear this guy’s story.  I wanted him to go away.

I met with him.  And he was creepy.  I had prayed for compassion beforehand, but wondered if I was going to have to say, "Can you excuse me for a moment, I have to go throw up now."

He was divorced, and hadn’t been to church in six years, but he had started going again.
I ask him what his relationship with God is like.  He'd mostly just blamed God for everything that had gone wrong in his life.  "Then why did you start going back to church?"  He said that he had a little spark of hope.  I asked him if he ever read the Bible, and he said he didn't have one.

A voice in my head said, “Give him your Bible.”

I say, “Just a moment, let me go check on something.”  I go out and check our office shelves.  Dang it, don’t we have any spare Bibles lying around? 

Joanne had purchased a nice Bible for me as a gift years ago.  It was a parallel version with NIV on one side and The Message on the other.  It had been lost in the fire we had at the office, and it had taken me a while to find another one like it.  So this was my second one and it had this cool cover with a place to put notes and pens.  I had a great fondness for it.

I’m still scanning the shelves.  There’s a hymnal, no, that won’t do.  Where’s a freakin' Gideon when you need one?

“Give him YOUR Bible.”

I come back to my office and I’m surveying the shelves there.  I ask him, “Have you ever read the Bible before?”

He says, “Kind of.  Years ago.  It doesn’t really make sense to me, and goes in one ear and out the other.”

Shoot!  The voice will not leave me alone, and as I reach for my Bible, I wonder how tacky it would be for me to remove the cover first.

I hesitate, sigh, and hand him my Bible and say, “Well I’m going to give you mine.”  He says, "No.  I can’t do that!"  I say to do it anyway, and then I open it up and explain how the parallel thing works.  We read a Psalm in the NIV, and then read it again in The Message.  I tell him I want him to read a Psalm every day like that.  I print out a list of meetings in town for sexaholics anonymous, and I tell him I want him to go to 30 meetings in the next 30 days. (I should have said 90.) I fold up the list of meetings and put it in the special note pocket in the cover.

Then I pray for him.  As I sit there, praying for this guy in the rumpled white T-shirt, I get a strong impression that he is “the least of these.”  He is the out of work, creepy, isolated guy addicted to extreme pornography, child pornography.  He is unclean.

As he leaves, lyrics to an old Petra song go through my head.
The least of these knows sorrow.
The least of these knows grief.
The least of these has suffered pain, and Jesus is His name. 

I feel like I hear Jesus say, “I am that creepy guy.  The guy on the beach.  The guy in your office in the rumpled white T-shirt.  I died for them, and their pain is mine.”

God please continue to break my heart.


  1. Powerful. Thank you for the challenging reminder to love - even those who are the absolute unloveliest. God's "foolishness" is greater than man's wisdom!