Harry was a crusty ol’ cob! I met him on Fremont Street, Las Vegas Nevada. A couple of friends and I were passing out tracts and telling anyone who would give us a listen that Jesus loved them. The old man was crouched on the ground, leaning on a pillar quite a distance from the edge of the sidewalk. Some special kind of Gravity moved my feet towards him.
“Old man, your time is near and you need to get right with God!” (“Did those words come out of my mouth? That was pretty direct!”)
He lifted his head, scrunched up his nose, and held out his hand.
“How long has it been since you’ve eaten?”
“I dunno,” he scowled.
“Com’on. We’re gonna get you sumthin to eat.”
Harry didn’t eat much that night. His diet of cigarettes and alcohol had robbed him of a healthy appetite. Led by the Spirit, I took Harry home with me.
Over the next few days, weeks, and months Harry came to know Jesus. He got baptized. He got clean.
About six months after we took Harry in he disappeared. I guessed that he’d gone off the wagon. We found him in the hospital.
“Harry, what happened?”
“I dunno. I think I got hold of some bad liquor!” He paused, then looked up at me and added, “but I’m gonna talk to Him tonight,” pointing upward.
I shared some scripture with him, prayed, and left him to the care of the hospital doctors and nurses. When I went back the next day, Harry was gone. Harry looked much older but he was only 62.
I’m not sure how the graveside service got arranged. Besides myself, there was a rabbi, and the old man’s very bitter son. I shared with him how his father had come to know Jesus, the Messiah, and assured him and the rabbi that I knew, by God’s grace, that this wayward father was in heaven. With the same scowl that Harry had once had, the son just waved his hand in the air, still very angry. The rabbi just nodded.
I didn’t learn the details of that father/son relationship. Harry had little or nothing to show for his life on earth, just one hurt son. But God knew Harry. He directed my feet to him that night on Fremont Street. God made sure that Harry heard and accepted the Gospel of Christ during his last six months on earth. In spite of the hard life that he lived, Harry found F R E E D O M!
“I assure you: Everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. A slave does not remain in the household forever. Therefore, if the Son sets you F R E E, you really will be F R E E!” (Jesus, as recorded in John 8:34-36)
As you celebrate your freedom as a blessed United States citizen, take time to remember the true F R E E D O M that you’ve found in Christ. And continue to pray for those who still need to be set F R E E!
“The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim F R E E D O M to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set F R E E the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Jesus, as recorded in Luke 4:18-19)
The mission of Jesus is ours! Live it! Share it! F R E E D O M!