On Friday nights it is our custom to gather by a large tree in the center of Montrose for prayer and worship before splitting up for ministry. Over the past two years we have had several wonderful encounters with people walking by who were drawn in by the music and prayer. Many times someone will walk past us and then return minutes later, only to linger, listening nearby. Recently David and I were out worshiping by the tree with a group of about 30-40 young adults when a Drag Queen passed us by. He wore a red dress and stood close to 7 feet tall with a pair of high heeled shoes on. As many do, he lingered near our circle, listening. I watched him as he looked at our group with curiosity. I didn’t realize anyone else had noticed him until David nudged me. “I know him.” he whispered, as the group continued to sing. “He comes to street church, but I’ve never seen him dress in drag. I almost didn’t recognize him.” As quickly as he had come he was gone. We looked up to see him almost a block down the dimly lit neighborhood streets. He seemed the picture of dejection, with his head down and struggling to walk on the stilettos he wore.
From the moment I saw him stop outside of our circle I felt the urge to speak with him. Now it was almost too late as I watched our window of opportunity shrink. Again, David nudged me. “We need to go talk to him.” I nodded and we slipped away from the group, jogging quickly to catch up to the Drag Queen before he disappeared. For a moment we thought we had lost him until David spotted him at the top of the stairs of a nearby building. It had recently rained in the Montrose and the cement steps and platform were wet and dirty. It was heartbreaking to see him sitting alone on the cold, damp pavement.
His name was Robbie and he was both surprised and happy to see us. Through a short conversation we learned that he did attend Street Church from time to time and that both his parents had passed away. His sister was around but “busy with her family”. Although he didn’t tell us his age, he looked very young. He was happy to let us pray for him and later accepted a blanket to keep him warm. I couldn’t help but be moved to compassion as I thought of this young man: orphaned, homeless, cold and alone.
It seems a small gesture, but we hope and pray that God used that night in Robbie’s life as a reminder that he is still being pursued by his creator. He is not too far beyond the grace and reach of Jesus Christ. Thank you all for your prayers and encouragement. We couldn’t do what we do without you!
David & Abigail