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Living a Life of Grace and Mercy

August 28, 2017 2 Comments

I have always had an interest in photography and thanks to a gift from a friend a year or so ago I have taken it on as a serious hobby. Working in downtown Atlanta gives me a lot of interesting areas to photograph. I often venture out with my camera on my lunch break. This past Tuesday was one of those days. I walked a couple blocks to the music venue the Tabernacle. The Tabernacle was originally a church called the Broughton Tabernacle also known as the Baptist Tabernacle built in 1910 and was used as a church until the mid-eighties. My mom and a couple of my aunts were baptized there. As I was taking some detail shots, I was approached by a homeless man named Eric. He started telling me about the building until he realized I was a local. Eric then moved into his spiel. For whatever reason there seemed to be a connection.

Eric took a seat on one of the steps and I leaned back against a hand rail to listen to his story. He came to Atlanta about a year and a half ago from South Carolina after his wife and daughter were killed in a car accident. He said there were just too many memories back in SC. Supposedly he was working with a local pastor here in Atlanta to get into some sort of program but had to pay some money upfront. I asked him several questions to get to know him better. We probably talked for over fifteen minutes or so.

Although it is not my normal practice, I reached in my wallet and gave him ten dollars. I then asked if I could pray with him. He agreed so I prayed that he would be engulfed with the grace and peace of God and with the wisdom and revelation so he might know God better. I then prayed he would have favor in his health and to find his way off the streets. He seemed grateful.  I asked if I could take his picture and he agreed.

It is possible Eric’s story was a lie. It is also possible he could use the ten dollars to buy drugs or alcohol. However, I realize that Jesus showed me grace and mercy when he forgave me of my sins without asking anything in return. He forgives my sins knowing I will sin again. He forgives my sins even when I take advantage of his grace by willingly sinning knowing he will forgive me. As a disciple of Jesus I am called to live a life like his. A life where I too show grace and mercy to strangers.

No my measly ten bucks is not a huge show of grace and mercy. Even If I gave my own life for Eric it would still pale in comparison to what Jesus has done for us.  However, I am called to live a life of grace and mercy and sometimes I will show it in small ways. The ten dollars helped open the door so I could pray with him. I believe that prayer will be more effective in his life than money. I will continue to pray for Eric and I will look for him whenever I am out and about downtown. I hope and pray he finds his way soon.

Once again on those steps the Tabernacle took on the role it was originally created for. A place of grace and mercy.

I knelt down on one knee to get on Eric’s level to take his picture. Then we shook hands and went our separate ways. I made a few more shots before heading back to work. Even though I made eye contact with Eric while we were talking I did not see how piercing his eyes were until I edited the photo.

I am not sure if my encounter with Eric was a life changing event but I am confident the Holy Spirit is at work in his life and on that Tuesday afternoon he allowed me to play a small part of his work in Eric’s life.

I pray I can continue to live a life of grace and mercy.

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About the Author:

I am enthusiastic about helping others discover their purpose and grow into a deeper relationship with Jesus. It is great to see their eyes light up at their “Ah Ha!” moment when they discover they were created for something more. My hope is that this blog will help encourage and inspire you along your way. Join the conversation and take the time to share with me your own story. I have been married to my beautiful wife Janice for over 30 years. We currently live in McDonough Georgia with our daughter. Our two boys have left the nest and we have two wonderful grand kids. Of course we cannot forget about our dog Bear.