Carly woke to splattering rain on her face. Her makeshift cardboard shelter had fallen and left her victim to the elements. While it was still very early, she decided to get up to find a place to get out of the rain. It started coming down in sheets as she made her way down the sidewalk. She was cold, wet and hungry.
Carly had come to the city two months earlier. She had high hopes of “making it” as a writer with a large magazine or having her book published at one of the many publishing companies. She knew she was a good writer and thought this was her way to prosperity in life. She had done without for a long time and was hungry for fortune and fame. Anything to fill her emptiness inside. After countless interviews and rejections, her money ran out. She was now desperate for any job she could find. The problem was, there weren’t any to be found.
She ducked into a storefront doorway, shivering and wondering what she would do next. She couldn’t go home; there wasn’t a home to go to. She had been in foster care all her life and at eighteen years old, the state was no longer liable for her. They put her out on the streets. She was on her own.
While standing there worrying where her next meal would come from, the door behind her creaked open and a tall young man stepped out.
“May I help you, Miss? Would you like to come inside?”
“Oh, I’m sorry, no. I didn’t realize anyone was here” As she turned she saw freshly painted words on the door that read: BREAD OF LIFE MISSION – COME TASTE THE BREAD OF LIFE! “I’ll just be on my way,” she mumbled.
“No please, I’ve got coffee brewing and fresh hot rolls from the bakery down the street. Come in, there’s plenty!”
“Well, I don’t know” she started.
“I insist, come on” he said leading her by the arm.
His hazel eyes seemed so warm and full of compassion, she just couldn’t resist any further. The mission was sparse with only a few fold-up chairs and a weathered old wooden cross on the wall. She followed him down the hallway where the luscious smell of coffee filled her nostrils.
He introduced himself as Jace Taylor and Carly shook his hand and told him her name.
After they had eaten their fill, Jace told Carly about his dreams for the mission. He was a bible college student, graduating in the spring, he said. He had rented the store just a month earlier to help the homeless and lead them to Jesus. As he told Carly of his dreams, his eyes misted over.
“You see, I was homeless. Just a few years ago, then I found Jesus in a little mission almost like this. He has given me hopes and dreams I could never have imagined! I know it won’t be a prosperous endeavor. I will have to scrape and beg for funds to make the mission work, but I believe God will make it happen. He has put this in my heart and I know it’s my purpose in life.”
Carly was inspired with his enthusiasm. She felt a glimmer of hope for the first time in a long time. The way Jace looked her square in the eyes with love shining through, the joy she saw on his face when he talked about Jesus. She wanted that joy. She hadn’t thought about Jesus since she was little, one of the foster families she lived with took her to Sunday School. Jesus…….had He led her here?
Just then four homeless men walked in wet and cold, then two more behind them.
“Carly, can you look in the back closet for some towels, please? I’ll find some more coffee cups. Come in gentlemen, welcome to the Bread of Life Mission! Come in! Taste the bread of life!”
Carly stayed busy for the next few minutes helping Jace get the men comfortable. Then Jace went to the front of the room with his bible in hand. As he opened it, he read;
“If they obey and serve him, they shall spend their days in prosperity, and their years in pleasures.” Job 36:11 (KJV).
At that moment, Carly knew she had found her own prosperity in the Lord right here in this little mission. She had found the Bread of Life and she had joy.
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