A prayer for Dave and the world

Estimated read time 4 min read

Encountering a lonely homeless old man finding strength in Jesus’s message of love even if in other things different from mine was a spiritual moment.

The morning began in no unusual way. I had a follow up visit at a health care office where there was the usual catching up of what’s going on with our families and lives. I live in area of Florida that has different realities often just a few miles or even blocks apart. Our casual talk moved to the story of a multi-billionaire taking his massive yacht to the central American coast for a get away for the season. I will not name this individual because it is not relevant but by all accounts he is a very smart man who has done great works of charity to the arts, school children, and others.

A short time later I drove just 5 minutes away to get something to eat for a late breakfast finding myself in a neighborhood much different then where the health care office was located. I entered the burger franchise to see utility workers, elderly poor, and a man whom I immediately assumed was homeless.

The building housing the fast food joint was the only thing new in the area. To order food you had to know how to use the computerized order system. I looked profoundly lost in trying to figure how to order. The tall elderly white male with a long beard, tee shirt, shorts, and old tennis shoes approached me and asked if he could help.

I thanked him for his help and sat down near him as we both felt a need to converse with each other. Dave (not his real name) told me he was living behind burger place in the parking lot because his truck which allowed him to work as a painting contractor was broken and he did not have sufficient funds to fix it.

Dave had grown up in Georgia but when he was very young his parents died in a murder suicide. As a young adult he had tried a career in the Army as a transportation specialist but made some mistakes which resulted in a premature discharge that was not honorable.

He had some religious commentary books at his table. He wanted to discuss the Bible and his views of religion. He had come to the conclusion the modern Christianity was not following the right direction because we had abandoned the Sabbath. He said we should not be in denominations but just follow Christ and the ten commandments.

He told me his only relatives were two sisters whose fate and or whereabouts he did not know. He never married, had no children, and no real friends. He felt that God would deliver him eventually by giving him a job from whose proceeds he could fix his truck.

I felt compelled to ask him if there was anything I could do for him. He did not want any help. He was 64 years old and would qualify for Social Security but he did not want it. From my experience in the past working with the homeless sometimes they may wish to be ” not found” for real or imagined reasons.

I did not question his beliefs but just listened. I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit and reflected on how Jesus in his teachings said the first shall be last and the last should be first. Anywhere he went he ministered to those who were alone, the sick, the isolated, and the rejected people in every village.

I cried internally and prayed that Jesus would help Dave find God’s peace. I remembered that Jesus loves Dave, the billionaire, and me. Everyone is a part of God’s creation and remember the first shall be last and the last shall be first. We can not just live for ourselves. We cannot close our eyes to the plight of others. Dave saw Jesus a little different then I did but agreed Jesus is the way via loving God and loving our neighbor.

Professor Tony Magana https://myfindinggrace.com

Dr. Tony Magana is Professor Emeritus in Neurosurgery who spent many years doing international teaching and research including 10 years in Ethiopia. Over the past 15 years he concomitantly intensified his Christian faith through study and worship through the Episcopal Church. He grew up in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. Attended Texas A&M University, Harvard Medical School, and trained at the University of Miami. Additionally he took the University of South Education for Ministry as well as attending the Southeast Florida Episcopal Diocesan School for Christian Studies.
Professor Tony Magana, a seasoned neurosurgeon, has not only dedicated his life to medical practice but also embarked on a profound spiritual journey. Over the past 15 years, he has deepened his Christian faith through study and worship within the Episcopal Church. His experiences span international teaching, research, and a decade of service in Ethiopia
Dr. Tony Magana’s writings blend faith, compassion, and wisdom, inviting readers to explore the intersection of spirituality and the human experience. His journey serves as an inspiration for those seeking deeper connections with faith and humanity.

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