Williamsburg's Homeless & Indigent

P.O. Box 366, Lightfoot, VA 23090
Office: 757-561-3255
"Assisting people in re-gaining hope and a better way of life."

Sunday, April 25, 2004

Herbert and Galatians 5:12-24

I would they were even cut off which trouble you. For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

Awhile back I briefly mentioned a man who was staying with us named Herbert. Herbert was brought to us by his cousin, who is also a police officer here. Herbert needed a chance: away from his 'friends', away from his past, away from his habits, but most a new way to God. Herbert is a very sickly 63 yr. old man who has a hard time walking, seizures, the onset of Parkinson and came with many bottles of meds. A few years back he had a tracheotomy, so he can hardly talk. While his cousin was trying to get him into an assisted living home, they needed a place where somebody would be around the majority of time, unlike a police officer's schedule.

The first few nights were fine. Herbert wanted to come for our Bible Studies, go to church and have daily devotions. He had such a thirst, but for what, we thought it was for God. He would say "Don't let my friends know where I am!" A couple of days he wanted to walk, so we would drop him off downtown for an hour. Usually on Sundays, the church van would pick him up and drop him off later that afternoon. Last Sunday, the church van picked him up, so I assumed he was going to church. Unfortunately, late that afternoon, Herbert wasn't back. I called his cousin to see if he was out with people at church. His cousin called around and found out Herbert wanted to go downtown instead of church. Nobody knew where he was and he had already missed 2 doses of his meds. Monday morning we called around to see if he was in the hospital or even arrested...no. So his cousin said he would go look for him (I have had pneumonia for the past 12 days and shouldn't be out of bed.) I told him to go to the Southern Inn, where the majority of the drinkers hang out. Yup, there he was! His cousin, so frustrated, ended up leaving; but shortly after, he heard dispatch call for an ambulance. Herbert, without his meds for 2 days know, 'fell out.' His cousin went to the hospital for the rest of the afternoon but couldn't stay any longer. Herbert was told to take the bus back to our house if he was released. The hospital called me to let me know he was released and gonna ride the bus. By night time, no Herbert so my husband went out looking for him.

The next day, I woke up so sick, a temp of 101.8 and my chest felt as if my pregnant puppy was laying on it. But, my time and God's time are different. He said "Go to Herbert and offer My Word. If he accepts it, bring him back." Ugh, I felt miserable, but who am I to deny God's commands? It took several hours before I had the strength to go. I didn't see Herbert at the Southern Inn. I did run into a couple of the guys hanging out at Food Lion so I asked them where he was. "We take care of our own. He is fine. He is in my room with some of the other guys" claimed one of fixtures on the bench. "Oh, so he is ok? That is why he had to go to the hospital. That is why he has several bottles of meds I have to give daily doses to him. Did you know to give him alcohol while he is taking Dilantin can kill him?" I questioned. So I started down the path to the motel. There, Herbert came out of one of the rooms. Several guys around him, as if to keep him under guard. As soon as he saw me, he smiled and started crying "I want to come home, please take me." I went to get my car to pull it down closer for him. As he was getting in, the guys said "Make sure she gets you some batteries for your radio." Oh as if that was a huge need at the moment. I told them, after a lecture of 'taking care of your own, "I think his meds and some food are a little more important than batteries right now!" The guys are use to my 'lectures' and not to say they blow them off, but mostly they know I won't take their crap.

After giving a ride to a man and his son, who live on the outskirts of town, and had several bags of groceries, I started talking with Herbert. No I wasn't mad, but concerned. His cousin and I decided he could no longer go downtown unsupervised. The next it happened, he would stay. I explained how God knows, even as Christians, we stumble as in Galatians 5, but He wants us and gives us the strength to fight against the desires of the flesh. Those downtown he use to hang out with have not yet accepted God and Satan tries through them to pull people away. He agreed, for the moment.

Yesterday he was getting antsy. I called his cousin and he talked with him and told him "If you choose to go downtown to be with them then you have decided to stay. You are a grown man and can make your decisions, but quit doing this to Patti and Geoff. They are sick and don't need to be hunting you down." Herbert said no he just wanted to go for a walk, not to drink. I told him if he wasn't back by dark, then we would not be coming for him; he would have made his decision. Several hours later, a friend from the past called to tell me "Herbert was down there and was drinking. He wanted me to pick him up." I explained "I would not enable him by coming down for him so he could go out again another day to drink. His decision was made and until he gets right with God and the drunkenness, he had to accept the consequences of his actions."

This morning, as usual, the church van pulled up for Herbert. Geoff explained he was no longer here and made his decision. They could find him at Southern Inn, if they wanted to pick him up.


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