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Will You Hold My Hand?

January 15, 2018 3 Comments

Back in August I wrote a blog post on living a life of grace and mercy where I talk about meeting a homeless man, Eric. Now I want to take a moment to tell you about meeting Chip back in October.

Once again I was taking my lunch break to explore the city streets of downtown Atlanta with my camera. I headed a few blocks to the Fairlie – Poplar historic district when I met Chip. (or as he told me, “Chip off the old block.”) As I approached,he asked if I would take his picture. Photographers that enjoy the genre of street photography often find that the homeless make for striking / dramatic portraits. The homeless have learned this and often hope they can get some money in exchange for their picture.  Knowing this, I told Chip I did not have anything to give him. We joked for minute and he asked me again. My response was the same; however, Chip persisted and said he did not want anything. He just wanted me to take his picture.

Before taking his picture I took a few minutes to get to know him. He came to Atlanta with his mom when he was seven after his mom and dad divorced. He would not share any details of how he wound up living on the street. He said he found the shelters too dangerous so he spent most nights on the street. Although, that often comes with its own dangers as he was in a fight the night before.

Finally I got down on one knee and took a few pictures. I then asked if I could pray for him. He said yes and then he asked me one of the most vulnerable questions I have ever heard from another man. He asked if I would hold his hand while I prayed. Like I did for Eric, I prayed that he would be engulfed by the grace and peace of God.

Did my prayer change Chip’s life? I don’t know. To be honest, in situations like these I feel helpless and totally inadequate. At the end of the day it is only God who can change a life. However, I did what I could. I held the hand of another human being created in the image of God who desperately needed a touch of someone who cared.

It is easy to judge Chip and declare it is his own fault for where he is. But the truth be told we humans are a broken race. Life is never as black and white as we would like and, odds are, but for the grace of God there is a thin line between the life we live and Chip’s.

I hope I can meet Chip again one day soon. As I continue to take my camera out to explore Atlanta I will be a little more intentional and prepared to meet the homeless (or whomever I meet)

How can I pray for you this week? – click here to send me an email

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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 25 years. We currently live in Stockbridge Georgia with two of our children Matt and Victoria. Our oldest Chris has left the nest. Of course we cannot forget about our dog Taffy.