Back in 1986, I was on staff at Hope Chapel Hollywood and we were meeting in Plumber Park. Plumber Park was a small park in West Hollywood that sat on the border between a very large Jewish community and the Homosexual community in West Hollywood. The park was usually filled with the homeless and on weekends would be filled with the elderly men playing chess at the tables.
One older homeless person started attending on Sunday mornings, but usually after a night of binge drinking. His name was Giggles and Giggles use to be a circus clown until his drinking took everything from him and now, he was a homeless drunk. He would pan handle for money most of the week and then come Saturday night he would get the good stuff and drink until he passed out.
He usually came in on Sunday mornings after the service had started and the smell would fill the room. Most nights he defected or urinated in his pants while he slept off the drink and would come in after waking up. Every time he came in for the next few weeks the pastor would come up to him right away and direct him to a seat right next to him or real close. He even admitted the smell was a very hard thing for him to overlook. During the end of the service Giggles would begin to cry huge alligator tears and a few brave souls would come up and comfort him and would speak words of affirmation of God’s love for him.
One Sunday morning, after the worship was over, while the Pastor was preaching Giggles came in late. He was clean shaven, sober, dressed in new clean clothes cut hair, and a grin on his face that was bigger than the moon. His whole countenance was changed Several nights before after a Wednesday night service God got a hold of him and erased twenty some years of drinking addiction from off him. He was completely delivered and changed in a heartbeat. He was miraculously given a job and a place to live all within three days.
Now the whole church stood stunned for a second when he came in, as we could see his transformation and we perceived what had happened. The reaction that then came from the church was a chorus of Praise to a mighty God who we just had witnessed his power to change a life. The Pastor never really got around to preaching as we spent the next hour just in praise, worship and celebration.
Church is many things but foremost, it is the place where God transforms people lives. It not a place where people go to get wounded but where the wounded go to get healed.
A person has to ask, “If Giggles walked into your church right now, this Sunday, what would happen? “
Could you be the person who greeted him with Christ love?