His name was Robert. As he got into my car I asked, “What’s in the box?”
“My stuff,” says he as we headed for the train station.
Some folks would say he was a simpleton! I wasn’t too sure about that; but, he did have limited social skills or some type of psychological disorder. And now, well, his mom had died, he had no money other than a small government disability check and, goodness, on top of all that he was being evicted. The train would get him safely to Kentucky. Kin folks lived there, or so he said.
Into our Shattered Lives
Jesus “restores” our Hearts!
Into our Shattered Families
Jesus “restores’ our Homes!
Into our Shattered World
Jesus “restores” our Hope!
As we quietly drove along I recalled some of our previous conversations, conversations we had when he was not so heavily medicated. Without medication his hands would shake as he talked about life – his life – and love, or the absence of love. Beneath what everyone saw, he was, well, a real man, an ordinary guy, just like you and just like me…with perhaps one exception – he was broken, broken beyond belief.
“Your stuff,” I asked? “Is that it?”
“Yes, sir, that’s my stuff. Everything I have. It’s in this box. Thankful too!”
“Want me to stay with you till the train comes,” I asked as we pulled into the train station.
“Naw,” says he, “I want to smoke some cigarettes." He was a chain smoker, big time. As I drove off he stood in the middle of the station, holding his box, smoking cigarettes. That was the last time I saw him, simply standing there holding his box.
Years later. 2005. Hurricane Katrina. I led a small group in worship at First Baptist Church, Chalmette, Louisiana, then I quickly drove home. My wife had just finished packing several boxes in our automobile. We hopped into the car and evacuated. Several hours later we arrived safely at my daughters place near Baton Rouge. I unloaded several boxes filled with stuff my wife had packed.
“That last one, over there, in the corner… that one’s yours," says she. I asked, “What in the box?”
“Your stuff,” says she.
As I stood there holding my box I saw a faint reflection of myself in the car window. Was that me? I squinted my eyes a bit as I stared at the reflec...“
I cocked my head and continued to stare. Then, well, I think I heard what sounded like a distant voice.
Published By Parables will soon publish an incredible collection of true stories of twenty amazing people who were Broken Beyond Belief – But Not Beyond Faith. The anthology will be published once the collection is completed.
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Broken Beyond Belief is not intended to be a how-to book, or a 10-steps-to-greatness book. This is a raw and vulnerable collection of true stories written by salt-of-the-earth people who bounced back from the bottom -- by the power of Jesus Christ.
Contact me. You may be one of the twenty -- or know someone who should be included. Think of the lives that could be changed. Think of the people who could be touched. You've been there. You've done that. You've climbed out of that deep dark hole. The marriage was saved. You're the prodigal who who returned. The addiction is broken. You were Broken Beyond Belief...But Not Beyond Faith.