He was young and seemed self-assured. There was no real need for the help he had asked for, but he craved a listening ear and a place where he could get some moral support in ringing the council to sort some financial issues. I listened, at times frustrated by the lengthy and confusing explanation he was giving and why the job centre had passed him off to us anyway; at times sensing there were other issues under the surface. Anxiety, depression, drug addiction, bad influences, three young children, a dying father. Some of these I could relate to. Others I could only give my sympathy and pray inwardly for something to share.
I’m not sure how much progress we made with the financial issue. That’s always frustrating, but as we talked, I felt the Lord directing my attention to a Scripture to share. I was able to read Isaiah 26:3 to him, offer to pray for him and answer his question about who we are at the Friendship Centre. He started to share about some helpful therapy he had done at a church, though no one talked about faith there. He asked what the different Christian sects believed, but there was an interruption. And as I prayed, he expressed the value of coming back to God. “You take one step toward God, and he comes running to you,” is how he put it. “That’s funny,” I said, “Jesus told a parable just like that!” So I shared with him the story of the prodigal son, and I pray that he will take a step toward God this Easter.