Meet Mr. Marlon. He has been a homeless man living in the Glenmont/ Wheaton area for 9 years. A typical day for him begins around 6 am. He will go to a local 24 hour store or laundromat to wash up everyday before going to his intersection. For some of you living in the area, you may have seen him, walked right passed, or driven by him in locations such as Kensington & Plyers Mill, CVS Glenmont, H-Mart Wheaton, or even the intersection of Georgia Avenue and Randolph Rd.
I’ve been visiting Mr. Marlon since November 2013 on a bi-monthly basis. It all started when he asked me if I could get him a “snack to eat” while I was headed to CVS. His story has been given to me piece by piece. Marlon is a high school drop-out of Northwest HS and got involved in gangs, drug trafficking, and domestic violence. He shared with me that he became “helpless” and his life “turned around” when he got involved in major drug traffic activities and unfortunately got shot in the left side of his face. As a drop-out with no money, the spare change Marlon had was put to use for his recovery and rehabilitation. His family abandoned him since he dropped out of high school.
This morning, I found him again at the CVS where we first met. I took him for breakfast at McDonalds and told him to get whatever he wanted. We talked about his ongoing situation with trying to rehabilitate. I started to “minister” to him and got into talking about the gospel truths and the downfall of man. I explained that we were created in the image of God, but as a result of sin, we get lost and powerless to save ourselves. I told him that he was given another chance! It was redemption and a reward of eternal life if he puts his trust in Christ. Amazingly, he asked how he could do this. Today, I’m pleased to tell you that the heavens are celebrating and rejoicing at the new name that has been entered into God’s book of life. Mr. Marlon became a believer today.
The bible says a lot of things about helping those in need but why I spent my birthday with Marlon was this: The Apostle Paul reminded the Ephesians how God has worked in him to testify the gospel and that the grace of God is more powerful than any law, command, or threats to motivate and build up his people. Acts 20: 35–38 says,
“In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” And when he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all. And there was much weeping on the part of all; they embraced Paul and kissed him, being sorrowful most of all because of the word he had spoken, that they would not see his face again. And they accompanied him to the ship.”
It was indeed better to give Marlon a second chance and eternal life than to expect gifts. And that should be the same with everyone. We shouldn’t expect gifts or celebrations because the ultimate gift is eternal life and if you have it already, you should share that gift with someone who hasn’t received one like it. That’s why I spent it with a homeless man.
Thanks everyone for the birthday wishes and greetings. You all have been a great support chain!
Originally published at myfaithjourney.org.