Christian Short Stories
IS HE LIKE MIKE?
By Connie Lanyon-Roberts
Today was Mike’s third anniversary. It was three years today that Mike had come to accept Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior at the Helping Hands homeless shelter. Mike had been an alcoholic living on the streets for ten years and when he asked Jesus Christ into his heart, Mike’s life changed dramatically. Mike was converted that very night and was able to quit drinking without suffering any withdrawals. For the first time in ten years, Mike had found the peace and the joy he had heard the Director of the mission, Mr. Harris, preach about for the last seven years he had been visiting the shelter.
Before becoming a child of God, Mike hated the messages the patrons were forced to listen to before they received their meals. Mike always managed to fall asleep during the sermons but one day, no matter how hard he tried, Mike could not escape his heavenly Father’s calling. His surrender to his Redeemer saved his life and the lives of many who passed through the shelter.
Mike became the most caring person at the mission. He spent his days doing whatever needed to be done. There wasn’t anything Mike wouldn’t do, whether it was cleaning up vomit left by some sick alcoholic or drug addict, or cleaning the dirty toilets used by men who had left them filthy. Mike could be relied upon to care for those men who wandered into the mission. He didn’t think it beneath him to undress those dirty men, bathe them and tuck them into bed. Mike did these tasks with love because he wanted to do the work of Jesus for the remainder of his life upon this earth.
The night of his third anniversary, a very intoxicated homeless man entered the shelter demanding a bed to sleep in. Unfortunately, there were no beds available and Mr. Harris asked the drunken man to leave.
“What do you mean there’s no beds available?” the drunken man asked angrily. “What kind of stinking place is this?”
“Sir, I’m sorry, but all the beds are taken. There is another shelter not far from here…” Mr. Harris said.
“I said I want to sleep here!” the drunken man interjected, slurring his words and nearly falling over.
“Mr. Harris,” Mike said softly. “He can sleep in my bed and I’ll sleep on the floor.”
“Are you sure, Mike?” Mr. Harris asked, uncertain whether to allow Mike to give up his own bed for the unruly man.
“Yes, sir. Don’t worry, I’ll take care of him,” Mike said as he led the drunk toward the showers.
Mike undressed the drunken man and helped him with his shower. “My name’s Mike, what’s yours?”
“Joshua,” Joshua said.
“Joshua, that’s a great name.”
“Why are you doing this? Why are you helping me?” Joshua asked suspiciously.
“Because somebody did it for me,” Mike said, smiling.
After his shower Joshua was dressed in a clean pair of pajamas.
“When was the last time you had something to eat?” Mike asked.
Joshua shrugged. “Can’t remember.”
“I’ll make you a sandwich,” Mike said and went off to get Joshua something to eat.
It wasn’t long after Joshua finished eating that he was snoring softly in Mike’s bed. Before Mike got under the blankets he had placed on the floor beside his bed, he knelt alongside Joshua and prayed silently for the man Jesus had sent across his path.
The next morning Joshua awakened to find clean clothes laid upon the bed. He dressed and wandered into the dining area for breakfast. He sat at a table and expected to have a quick meal before rushing out to purchase his next bottle of his favorite whiskey. Joshua groaned noisily and rolled his eyes as Mr. Harris delivered the evangelistic message to the usual solemn men with their heads bowed. But while listening to the message, something happened to Joshua. It had been many years since he had shed a tear and now tears were streaming down his face. The heavy burdens he had carried for so long began to lift. For the first time in his life Joshua felt love, the kind of love Mike had shown him the night before.
Joshua rushed to the front of the room in repentance and cried out to God to help him change. “Oh God, make me like Mike! Make me like Mike! Make me like Mike!”
Mr. Harris leaned over and said, “Wouldn’t it be better if you prayed, make me like Jesus?”
Joshua thought it over for a few seconds and then asked. “Is he like Mike?”
What is the moral of the story? Let’s all live so that others can see Jesus in us, because we might be the only Jesus they will ever see.
(This story is based on a devotional by Bob Gass.)
(© 2010 Connie Lanyon-Roberts – All rights reserved. Written material may not be duplicated without permission.)
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