11/05/09 Frank, about 45
Late at night in downtown Chicago, Frank seemed like a typical street hustler when he asked me if I had any cigarette rolling papers. I told him "No, but here's a million dollar bill" and gave him the money tract which brought a laugh and a good conversation. I talked Frank through several commandments, and he seemed truly convicted, but then he started to treat me like a pastor, asking for advice about whether to divorce his wife who has become a drug addict and left him to sleep around with other men. Frank claimed to have been drug free for 17 years, but said that when his wife left he became addicted to gambling. He went on to describe some recent health concerns. I felt like he really did need pastoral counseling and asked if he had any church connections, but this opened up another can of worms because his church sounded like it had more problems than he did. I began to try to bring the focus back to his primary need - his need for righteousness (a right relationship with God), knowing that his other problems can then begin to fall into place, but then I realized I was in danger of missing my bus for my out of town trip. I offered up a pastoral prayer for Frank, who had said several times that God sent me to him just when he needed to hear from Him the most, and shared my contact info which he asked for before I left.