One of my favorite moments of the day is early morning walks through my neighborhood and downtown Columbus. Coming back from a week of hiking in the Colorado Rockies, a walk through Franklinton can seem so anticlimactic! But I have been more struck recently by the number of homeless people sleeping in the bushes, cubby areas of stairwells, under the bridges, and some just passed out on the main sidewalks.
As I started my 4-mile loop yesterday, I was greeted by my friend Kenny, who was sitting on the bench in front of our leadership building. His words have always been a prophetic voice to me. Yesterday morning, I commented on the couple who was passed out in the stairwell of our church.
He said, "Whenever I see folks sleeping outside like that, I pray that the Lord would cover them with the blanket of His love and keep them safe."
We talked more about how his birthday was coming up (last week) and then I carried on with my walk. As I continued along my walk downtown, the Lord brought to mind a prayer that I had prayed about a month ago when I was doing the 4-mile loop.
Each day, I pass two women - one older woman and one younger one - who sleep along the Scioto Mile downtown along the riverfront. The older woman has an elaborate makeshift tent stretched across the bench swing facing the river; the younger woman sleeps on the ground. What always strikes me about the younger woman is that she is barefoot with no blanket. Her feet are filthy and black from dirt. She has her sandals next to her head while she sleeps.
As I pass by them everyday, I have often prayed that the Lord would show me how best to pray for them. Seeing people, especially in such a vulnerable state of sleeping and being unprotected, I get overwhelmed by the needs; untreated severe mental health, addiction, hungry, homelessness, loneliness, etc.
Yesterday, when Kenny told me that he prays the Lord would cover people with His blanket of love, I thanked the Lord for answering my prayer. When I passed by them yesterday, I prayed that they would be blanketed (sheltered) by the Father's love and that He would keep them safe.
I am thankful for Kenny's prophetic voice and ministry to me. The Lord has used him many times over the years to counsel me in seeing the Father's heart.
Happy birthday, Kenneth Grant. I am grateful to call you my brother, from another mother. 🙂 Your life is a blessing to our church community and neighborhood.