Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 18, 2000

Harold Keller / L’Observateur / November 18, 2000

Loneliness is one of the biggest problems facing many people. The problem ismore evident around the holiday season. I receive a lot of calls from peoplewho are seeking rehabilitation from drug problems.

A week and a half ago, a young man addicted to crack cocaine called meevery day. He was homeless, had no money and was seeking a safe place tomaybe solve his problem.

Last Sunday, I picked him up and asked if he was hungry. He said yes and Ioffered to buy him breakfast. He chose to go to Popeye’s and get (as hedescribed) one of their famous breakfasts. I sat with him as he ate andshared his story. I told him I had good news! A rehab center in Bogalusa hadcalled and told me there was a bed available for him the next day.

Two tables over, I noticed a young man eating and facing the outdoors. Heseemed lonely. I kept looking at him and wondering what his life was about. Ifirmly believe that God opens doors of opportunities for us to witness tostrangers.

While my friend was still eating, I got up, walked to the stranger, introducedmyself, and asked for permission to sit down. I asked him where he wasfrom? “South Carolina,” he answered. “Are you married?” I questioned.

“Divorced over 10 years ago,” was his answer. “Any children?” I continued.

“One boy, 23 years old,” he replied. I then asked, “What caused the divorce?””All my fault,” he said. “It was strictly me.” “Where do you work?” I asked.

“Between jobs,” he answered. “I do carpenter work.”We chatted for a few more minutes and right before I left, I asked if I couldpray with him. I held his hand and prayed for his wife, his son, and for God toforgive him for all the hurt he had caused his loved ones. He just wept.

I gave him a hug, told him that God loves him, gave him a few dollars, andwent back to my table.

He left, walked away, maybe never for us to meet again.

I felt good that the opportunity God presented to me was not ignored. Italways feels good when you obey God and share His love with hurting people.

I returned to the other young man who, by then, had finished eating. Heasked if I knew the other man. I told him no. He was just a stranger to me butfamiliar to God.

HAROLD KELLER writes this column as part of his affiliation with the Get Highon Life religious motivational group. He may be reached at (504) 652-8477.

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