If you have not read “Who’s Your Clyde? Part I – The Man Standing at the Door,” last week’s post, I would encourage you to do so prior to reading any further. It will make a lot more sense.
We left Burger King and headed over to Wal-Mart. As we walked through the store I asked Clyde if there were other things that he needed as well. Afterall, he was walking to California. He said it could take him anywhere from 3 days to 3 months, just depended on how much he had to walk.
As we meandered through the aisles we talked. He told me more about his life, and about his salvation experience when he was younger. In time we had picked up a blanket, backpack, food, small tent, socks, and a water bottle – the cart was getting full. I was overcome with compassion for him. A true man in need. He had absolutely nothing to his name. We checked out, filled up his pack, and drove back to the church.
I found him a Bible and underlined some verses. We continued to talk and then I spent some time praying with him and sent him on his way, walking to California. It was a bittersweet goodbye. I wanted to help him find a job and get back on his feet. I wanted to see it through to the end. But I cannot live his life for him. I had to let him go and trust that God would take care of him. As he walked toward the West, I watched him go and prayed for him again – that God would be real in his life and that He would keep Clyde safe as he traveled to California. It was time I headed into staff meeting.
As I sat in the meeting, I continued to think about Clyde. I wondered what more I could have done. We talked about the situation and prayed for him as a group. There was not anything more that we could do…or so I thought. As I went through the day I couldn’t get him off my mind. I needed to talk about it with someone and I had already talked with my wife, so I called my mom.
As I shared Clyde’s story, she began to feel a heavy burden for him as well. I told her “With as much money as I spent at Wal-Mart, I probably could have bought him a bus ticket.”
“I don’t know. I’m not sure how much they are.”
“Why? Its like one o’clock. He’s been gone since ten.”
“Ok…It’s about $200.”
“You find him and I’ll buy the ticket.”
“You don’t need to do that, but I’ll go find him.”
I jumped in my truck and headed West on Hwy 40. I told myself I would drive until 40 passes under I-70. As I drove I looked down all the roads on either side. Nothing. I knew he was staying away from I-70, but I couldn’t find him. Had he found a ride? I passed under I-70 and pulled into a drive to turn around. No sign of him anywhere. What could I do. I started back to the church.
As I was driving I passed a house Brandy and I had looked at when we first moved to Lawrence. Juxtaposed to the condition in which we looked at the property, the grass was a couple feet tall, the exterior was unkept, and there was a sign in the window. I pulled in the driveway. The sign was one I had seen many times. It read “Caution! This house has been winterized with anti-freeze in all drains and toilet bowls, etc.” Almost a sure sign it had been repoed. I so wanted to get out and look around. There was another sign on the door with a phone number. My curiosity was peaked even more, but I was too chicken to get out of the car. I knew it had to have been repoed now. Wonder what kinda deal somebody could get…One thing you have to understand about me is there are two things in life I really enjoy – a good deal and real estate. Put the two together and you just made my day. I knew I would probably never buy the house. For that matter, I would probably never even call the phone number even if I go out to look. I just didn’t want to be caught trespassing in case I was wrong. So I drove on.
It began to eat at me. I knew I wouldn’t drive all the way out there again and my curiosity wouldn’t let it go. I had almost dismissed finding Clyde. I decided to turn around. I turned down the next side road. As I was about to put it in reverse, something caught my eye. A ways down the road, near an underpass for I-70 sat Clyde. How did I miss him? I remembered looking down that road. There was no way I should have missed him, unless he wasn’t there before.
I pulled up beside him and asked “What are you doing?”
“Yeah. Just walkin’ in the ditch lookin’ for money and cigarettes”
“Can I buy you a bus ticket back to California?”
There was a very long pause and he looked a little baffled. “Um…Yeah?”
“Get in and we’ll get you on your way.”
Although we will probably do nothing about the repoed house, God used the detour to help me find Clyde. Had I not stopped to turn around, I never would have seen him. Maybe more importantly, had we not looked at the house previously, I never would have thought twice about it when I drove by. One word – Foresight – God knew. I didn’t see him before because he wasn’t quite there. You can call it coincidence or whatever you want, but there is no mistake in my mind that God had a big hand in our reunion.
God didn’t bring Clyde to me so that I could help him. He brought Clyde to me to teach me something. The more time I spent with him the more I learned about myself and my relationship with the Father. How is God using the lives of others to teach you to be more like Him? I never dreamed I would learn anything from this beggar at the door.
“26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:26-31
Who’s Your Clyde? Part III – Coming next week