Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1
It was 2:55 a.m. when Stephen pulled the plastic cover over his shoulders to keep the cold winter draft from his small frame of a body. He was wearing all the clothes he had to bed. These were his street clothes and nightwear. Stephen was a homeless child who made his way through life on the streets of Los Angeles, after being abandoned by his maternal grandmother.
Stephen tossed and turned on the corrugated boxes that he had turned into a makeshift bed. He was freezing cold and his stomach was growling because he had no food to eat for the past seventy-two hours.
At the age of fourteen, Stephen was more like a man-child. He had to learn to grow up fast in order to survive the rough streets of L.A.
It was now 3:15 a.m. and Stephen was still wide awake. Knowing that he would not get any sleep, he pulled out a little small bible that he kept neatly tucked inside his shirt sleeve. This was the only valuable piece of life he could cling to. This was his mother’s bible and she gave it to him right before she dropped him off to his grandmother’s house to be cared for.
His grandmother really had no desire to take care of Stephen. The only thing she wanted from life was to gamble, smoke pot and drink alcohol. She was always complaining about how her life turned out. She never had anything good to say about anybody except for her black cat Wiley. Wiley she loved. But Stephen and his mother, she expressed her hatred for them on a daily basis.
It was 3:30 a.m. when Stephen knelt down and prayed. He wasn’t going to let the darkness stop him or the other homeless kids around him make him ashamed in believing that God was with him.
As soon as Stephen started praying, a bright flashlight beamed into his face, at first, Stephen instinct was to run. But, he felt something stir inside of him and heard a voice that told him, “don’t run.”
Stephen stared into the light that was shining in his direction. He wasn’t afraid. He felt a calming peace surrounding him.
“Okay kids, wake up,” spoke the voice holding the flashlight. “We’re from the Rescue Mission and we want to help you kids get into a safe place.”
The dark and quiet room suddenly came alive. The pile of rags and boxes revealed approximately eight young people in the dilapidated building. The rescue worker holding the flashlight was now joined by fifteen other men and women, holding out brown bags and bottles of water.
It was 7:00 a.m. the sun was rising. Stephen opened his eyes and smiled. He was wearing a new pair of pajamas. He stretched out his arms and cried. Then, he got out of the bed and knelt down to pray.
“Dear God Our Father. Thank you for hearing my prayer. I believe You when You told me that You would never leave me or forsake me. I want to thank you for the new pajamas, warm bed and food to eat. Now Lord, help me find my mother so that we can be back together again.”
Stephen got up and lifted up his bed pillow and took hold of his bible. Leafing through the bible, he stopped at the book of Hebrews 11.
He read the first verse of Hebrews 11 out loud. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for…the evidence of things not seen.”
Then he turned to verse six of the same chapter. “But without faith, it is impossible to please Him. For He that cometh to God must believe that He is…and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”
It was 12 noon and a surprise visitor entered the Rescue Mission.
The story ends but not without this question to you.
Where is your faith?
In Him Alone
The Counterfeit Christian
2016 The Year of Our Lord