"There ain't nothing in this earth I won't do for Duane. If he comes in here and tells me to take someone out, I'll take 'em out"
Strong words from a man who goes by the name Roach. He said that in response to our 15 Year Anniversary and his appreciation of Pastor Crabbs' help in his life.He meant what he said, Roach would do something illegal for us, if we asked him. He's done many bad things before and liked to flaunt his reckless abandon.
Roach would visit the Front Porch from time to time. He was a very torn man. His aggression kept him powerful on the street, but the cost of his actions took a heavy toll on his soul. Every time he asked for prayer it was obvious. Roach was afflicted.
Turns out he was more than just spiritually afflicted. A few months ago, a honking horn blared outside the Front Porch. I exited the building to see what the commotion was about. Roach's truck was on the sidewalk and he waved me over with his hand. As I approached the window, the honking made sense.
Roach had lost his leg. Roach had been afflicted with gangrene and blood clots in his knee as well. The doctors had no choice but to amputate for fear that the gangrene would spread. He was a broken man. He asked for Pastor Crabbs, but Duane wasn't there.
So I prayed for Roach.
Now this doesn't happen every time I pray, but this was one of those prayers, when you just know that God is speaking through you. The words you say, don't seem like your own. They flow from a spring that is deeper, richer, and purer than any words I could ever muster. It was one of those prayers.
During the prayer, I quoted Matthew 5:30 "And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell."
Had this been my prayer, I never would have quoted this verse. This was far too inappropriate, far too politically incorrect to say to someone who just lost a limb medically. But these were God's word for Roach. He cried and told me to contact Pastor Crabbs for him. Roach never cried before, he was a hard biker from the streets who always carried a gun on him. But here was a broken man, brought to tears through a prayer.
That truck became an extension of Roach. Whenever a honk would blare outside the Front Porch, we knew Roach was asking for prayer and counsel. Recently, we went out to great him and pray for him.
"Don't call me that anymore. That was my old name, my street name. I'm Adrian now. The name my mother gave me, the name God gave me. The old has gone, the new has come."
I smiled. My soul rejoiced. It has been a long summer of ministry and we all needed a victory. God delivered. God delivered Roach. Roach is gone now. The hardened man who was willing to take someone out for a pastor, is a new man now. He's missing a leg, but has gained back his soul.
We never took up Roach on his offer to take someone out. (Nor did we ever plan on it). But now, Roach is gone, his offer expired when God claimed back a very prodigal son.