This morning I was invited to breakfast with someone I had a 'chance' encounter with some months ago.
I first saw this individual high up in a tree, literally.
They were highly intoxicated and too far up the tree to be reached.
Police and the fire department had blocked off the street and had brought a latter to meet them in the tall tree.
As this person recalls the encounter to me from their perspective this morning, they remember how confused and delusional they were, perceiving circumstances which were not present; hauntings from the past and overwhelming affects from years of drug abuse.
I had prayed when first hearing of a man in a tree from a police officer... so I prayed for him and the situation as I passed by.
After doing what I had to do that morning, I return the same way heading back home, and see the man is still in the tree.
I once again pray for God's good will to be done.
Arriving back on scene, I meet and befriend a man who says he knows the man in the tree.
The man in the tree often attends the church my new friend is a part of.
My new friend and I begin to chat, getting to know one another.
We find out we both praise the God of heaven according to the Holy Name revealed under heaven.
He also shares that he had been praying for a Christian to show up and help in some way.
I praise the Lord in my heart, seeing once again how 'chance' is simply a word for others to describe His purpose.
We spend the rest of the afternoon and evening, along with a few other people, talking with the man, trying to convince him to safely come down and end this spectacle.
We pray and even speak the Word out loud for the entire neighborhood to hear.
The scene wasn't without its hecklers and haters; some even asking the man to simply jump down so they can have something to post on youtube.
We stayed at peace as we kindly asked these individuals to have respect for life and to be considerate.
That, and one who became part of the group of us trying to convince the man in the tree to safely come down, physically threatened the hecklers if they didn't silence their ridicule.
This morning, tears were coming to this individual's eyes as he recounted the manner in which God had brought him from practical ruin that day in that tree to gratitude and a new lease on life.
It was quite the pleasant meal; breaking bread with this found brother, hearing him praise God for His love, kindness and grace shown him.
The journey didn't end that evening when he came down from the tree and was taken into custody.
His journey would bring him to assaulting a nurse at the facility he was taken to in order to come off the drugs.
And although the police report stated he did much more harm to the nurse, her testimony stated the facts that he simply held her momentarily in trying to fight off the delusions; the mental affects from many years on synthetic and illicit drugs.
The threat of long jail sentence was reduced to a few months... and although the time away from the street and the drug scene only delayed his return to this lifestyle, a few more 'chance' encounters would bring to fruition God's plan for all parties involved.
Well over six months pass and I happen to see this same man sitting beneath a tree this time, near the ocean.
He denies being that man after I call to him by his name.
We speak for a little bit, me a bit confused but convinced it is him.
I later tell our mutual church friend that I have seen our friend ( perhaps brother in Christ ).
A few months later, I see him once again at the laundry location I frequent.
I encourage him, for this time he does admit to recognizing me and also acknowledges our mutual friend.
Once again, I call our mutual friend and tell him about the sighting.
He quickly travels there to say hello, encourage and offer support, inviting him to return to the next church meeting and enjoy the fellowship.
For reasons only God knows, our friend in the tree has quite the response from God's love.
He testifies that the day after seeing me and our mutual friend in that laundromat, God enabled him to stop the drug abuse, the self destruction and the denial of his current state of living.
He is amazed at how he has dropped it all like removing a piece of clothing.
He marvels at the strength imbued in him from Above.
I see before me yet another miracle performed by the hand of God.
I can't help but thank God for how good He is, how wonderful His love is... and how powerfully His love works in all ways.