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The Visitor

old homeless man.jpg

He wears worn and tattered clothes

Has yellow teeth

Messy, dirty and straggly hair

Foul breath

He reeks like he hasn’t had a bath in weeks

Slurred speech

I put out my hand

He shakes it

I smile

He smiles back

I invite him into our church

Some welcome the visitor

Others shun him

He is different, but is he really?

If you hurt him he feels it

If you turn him away, he feels the inner pain

Our pastor is giving a sermon about loving others

Those who appear to be different

But all of us share a common thing

We are human

No one better than the other


Seekers of what it means to love

What it means to give love

What it means to receive love

What it means to be Christ’s hands of compassion

What it means to be taught in the seminary of compassion

What it means to care without expectation of reward

Those quiet acts of the heart not witnessed

An encouraging word

A listening ear

A cup of coffee shared

But they are seen by God

Do we welcome this strange visitor or turn him away?

What would be your reaction?

What would be your response?

Would you love or hate him?

Would you embrace him?

Will you allow him to teach you Christ’s lesson to His followers?

Love one another as I have loved you

And then these three remain




But the greatest of these is


The stranger goes forward

I go and kneel with him

He speaks of his life

The struggles

The heartaches

The anger

The bitterness

The death of his wife from breast cancer

Shouting at God

Spirit-crushing sadness

His loneliness

All these things cause him to be fired

He loses his home

His three children are adopted

Turns to alcohol and drugs to numb the pain

He says, “I’m a failure as a man.”

I say, “No one is a failure in God’s eyes.”

I tell him he is so loved Christ would have died for him

if he was the only person on the earth

He could never be hated by God

The visitor cries

Says, “Here I am, Lord.

I give my anger and rebellion to You.”

We rejoice together

The visitor is a stranger no longer

He has come home

Kevin Osborne is training to become a psychotherapist, priest and chaplain through St. James the Elder University in Jacksonville, Florida. He and his wife, Karen, plan to open a counselling practice. Karen is taking graduate divinity studies at Trinity College in the University of Toronto. Kevin is planning on taking additional graduate studies there. He is a member of The Word Guild, a Christian writer’s group in Canada.

Our greatest calling is to be servants of our Lord wherever He calls us to go.