In John 10:10 Jesus promises His followers abundant life. This blog is about my life as His follower.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Terrific Tuesday with John from Rabid Fun

Today's Terrific Tuesday guest is John who writes at Rabid Fun. I was so pleased when I stumbled across this blog because John has an unpretentious, honest, and amusing take on life that consistently delights me.

John describes himself this way:
"I'm a common, ordinary, garden-variety Christian, a bit more befuddled than most. I'm 70 years old. I live in Jacksonville, Florida. Been married for 42 years. Am the father of three daughters and three sons. I've been a free-lance writer for 30+ years. Wrote a bunch of business and local history articles and a few little paperback books which never amounted to much. My proudest accomplishment in life? I once built a model sailing ship inside a beer bottle."

Here's a favorite post of John's:

Friday, January 13, 2006
I've Been Thinking About Scruffy

This week I’ve been formatting and editing my current book manuscript, A Dirty Old Man Goes Bad, I’ve managed to reduce it from a cumbersome 465 pages down to 393 pages so far. – and still working on it.

I haven’t done much else this week, but for some reason recently I’ve been thinking about Scruffy:

Scruffy lived in the crawlspace under someone’s house.

The homeowner didn’t know he lived under there because Scruffy stayed quite and sneaked in and out during the dark hours making sure he was never seen.

Scruffy’s real name was Lewis but everyone called him Scruffy -- for good reason. He never bathed or changed clothes or combed his hair or shaved.

When I first met Scruffy, I worked as the night janitor at a huge church, a church which sponsored, supported and contributed to many programs to help the homeless… the homeless who didn’t happen to show up in the parking lot like Scruffy did, panhandling churchgoers and scaring the hell out of blue-haired old ladies as they got out of their cars at every service.

This behavior got Scruffy barred from the church.

Orders came down from the administration that I was not to feed Scruffy anything from the church pantry or ever give him money for drink and drugs. But he kept coming by late at night when no one else was in the buildings, so I disobeyed.

Ok. I was wrong. I am an enabler; I can live with that.

Several times I offered to drive him to a homeless shelter. He refused saying he felt more comfortable living under buildings than in them. Maybe that was his legacy from Viet Nam?

I attempted to witness to him about Christ, how Jesus came to save sinners, was crucified dead and buried, rose again from the grave, and promised to return. But Scruffy dismissed my words with, “That’s a crock of shit, John, and you know it”.

Then for a period of weeks there was no sign of Scruffy until…

Late one night there was a knock on the church door. I opened it and there stood Lewis, clean shaven, hair combed, decently dressed. He glowed.

“I got saved, John,” he said as I opened the door.

We sat in the church kitchen drinking coffee as he told me that he’d been crossing the street drunk when a car hit him breaking his leg. Fortunately a nurse and her husband in a car following saw the accident and stopped immediately to render aid.

Laying on the pavement, Lewis looked up and saw this beautiful woman leaning over him, examining his injury.

“Be still,” she said, “You’re hurt. You were nearly killed. Do you know Jesus”?

Scruffy spent a few weeks in the hospital, then joined that nurse’s church. He quit drinking and druging. He got a job with a tire company. He moved into an apartment. He talked about Jesus. He was a new creation… for a while.

A month or two passed.

Again in the wee small hours of the night when I was alone in the huge building, there was a knock on the side church door.

There stood Scruffy. Drunk. Wild eyed. Filthy. Profane. Hungry.

Again against orders, I led him back to the kitchen and gave him coffee.

“Didn’t last,” he said. “Nothing to that shit. Not really. Not for guys like me”.

He stumbled out into the night looking for another fix.

Another month or two more went by when I got word that he’d been found dead under somebody’s house. He’d been hit by another car, refused medical attention, but managed to stagger away and crawl up under a house.

The homeowner never knew he was under there till he began to rot and the smell got too bad.

The church I where I janitored paid for his burial.

So, do I think Scruffy went to Heaven?

Well, it’s by grace that any of us are saved through faith . It’s not of ourselves. It is the gift of God not of works, lest any man should boast.

Scruffy was in bad shape to start with. Then, at rock bottom, he called on Jesus to save him. He believed in his heart that Jesus is the Risen Lord and he confessed that with his own lips.

For whatever my opinion is worth, I think Jesus saved him

And Jesus has the reputation of being mighty good at what He does.

But a spiritual commitment and a physical addiction are two different things. So, in so far as I can perceive such things, Scruffy made the deepest commitment he was capable of making, but was physically defeated by his addiction.

I may be entirely wrong about such a thing, but when you get to Heaven, take a look in the crawlspace under the Throne and see if there isn’t somebody hiding under there.

His name is Lewis.


Denise said...

Awesome post.

John Cowart said...

Hi Tracy,

Thanks for letting me stand on your soap box. I'm honored to be your guest here.

John Cowart

Tony C said...

That's good stuff've found a gem.

Thanks for sharing.

photogr said...

Good story. I imagine we all have a few Scruffy's around and don't know it.

Mike said...

What a fantastic story!

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