Being a Friend to Man

Yesterday I received a telephone call from a minister informing me of a man in distress. It seems that he was stranded in a strange city (U.S. city) and was weary, frightened and unsure of what would become of him.

Over the next eighteen hours I placed numerous telephone calls to that city in attempts to find a solution to what I deemed a temporary problem (better solutions, I felt, would manifest on Monday).

Time after time my pleas for help for the man were met with the brick wall of "rules". Person after person hid behind various excuses:

"I don't have the authority"
"My supervisor is not here"
"I am the intake supervisor but I am on vacation"
"Our medical intake person is not here"
"We don't let people stay just overnight"

Finally, after midnight, I called the city's police department and asked if they could help. They were nice enough to wake up a social worker from the city's Child Protective Service and have him call me. The social worker recommended a "safe place" for the man. I called the "safe place" and was told that the supervisor would not be in until 6:00 A.M. A few minutes after 6:00 A.M. I called and spoke with the supervisor. The result: "We don't let people stay just overnight, it's against our policy".

I was appalled at the excuses. I was just asking that they accommodate the brother until things opened Monday morning.

Frustrated, I finally prayed to God and told Him that, "If you give me enough money I will build places where people can stay overnight". Then, I began to remember how many cities there are in America and began to dispair of my own prayed promise.

During the past hour I received a phone call telling me of another unexpected twist in this unfortunate story. More pray was required.

While reflecting on the situation my thoughts landed on a poem I learned many years ago. The poet was not thought to be a particularly "religious" man but his sentiments had always found a welcome place in my heart. Sam Walter Foss is the poet and his poem is titled, "The House by the Side of the Road".

The article, "Being A Friend to Man" was written by Pastor Clarence William Page sometime during the period 2009 and 2014