a familiar quote from the Apostle Paul. a truth we saw again and again on the streets this past weekend. as we approached people with the single agenda of "loving them", almost nobody refused us. we didn't have any arguments (and when people tried to start them, we refused to go there).
love can look like a lot of things - we bought some meals for hungry people, we donated to some random charities and even listened intently to some of the most painful stories you could imagine. but the one thing we longed to do more than anything, was to see the love of God manifesting into the lives of those we prayed for. many were physically healed which was one of the primary ways Jesus demonstrated His love. many received prophetic words that accurately described their pasts, presents and even futures. such prophetic ministry is another way God loves people and brings hope and encouragment to desperate, and often hopeless lives. sometimes it was just that people would feel His love and weep (some wept so deeply that we began to tear up).
it was our heart NOT to preach and we discovered that those on the streets had not only heard the Gospel message incessantly (which was painfully reminded by some street preachers standing nearby), but they were grateful that we came in "another way". we weren't "selling" anything. it was all 'no strings attached'. however, in the end, it was often them asking us for more. them wanting to know where we went to Church (many cards were given to let them know where they can come to encounter more). for us to love meant that an encounter with His Love should precede any verbal message about it. God's love being demonstrated with power disarmed even the hardest of street drug addicts. It reminded many prodigals that they were truly welcome to come home whenever they were ready. they hadn't been forgotten, they weren't outside of the scope of His Love and concern.
and in it all, maybe I was as touched as any of them. what I saw God do, what I felt as my heart looked into the empty eyes of teens (one of them the age of my own son) caused this father's heart to break. when some of them couldn't look me in the eyes, I knew it was because of the pain they saw in the eyes of their own parents who were praying for them to come home. if you are even reading this, PRAY for these prodigals to awaken and return to loving families who don't even know where many of them are or even if they are alive.