The Man on the Curb

Traffic slowed. The right hand lane emptied at flashing lights ahead. At the stoplight an enormous white pickup sat at a slight angle blocking the right hand turn; a man sat on the curb nearby; three police cars parked parallel to the sidewalk faced him and the truck. No other vehicles evidencing an accident were present, though five or six officers were walking along the adjacent sidewalk. One officer stood bent over speaking in a manner of patience and care with the man.

Feet firmly planted in the dry gutter the man sat forward, hands holding his knit-capped head, elbows resting on bent knees. Leaves swirled about in the cold, crisp autumn breeze. As cars filled the left lane, moving ever so slowly through the changing light, the man sat on display, each passing traveler holding court…or at least puzzling what had happened, the pieces falling into countless differing scenarios.

Another officer approached the two conversing men and, after a brief discussion with his fellow officer, assisted the man to stand and step up out of the gutter onto the sidewalk. Extremely thin, the man seemed to be blown backwards by the wind. A steadying hand helped him stabilize; then he was carefully patted down. He seemed very docile, not combative or arrogant. Was he drunk? Having a medical or mental problem? Was the truck his? Had he been hit? Why so many officers? It was so confusing, and yet my heart cried for the obvious despair of the man. For the despair of a broken, hurting world that cares not for the souls of men. His brokenness was mine as well, in desperate need for help, for rescuing, for healing. Driving on I could only cry out, “Heal the man, LORD! Whatever is going on! Don’t let him be consumed by whatever is overwhelming him. Set him free! Renew him to become whole!”


LORD, our brokenness is beyond comprehension. I worship You, God of hope, reconciliation, grace, and mercy, who meets each of us where we are…to heal us if we would but listen and accept Your love. Thank You that You are the God of righteousness, justice, and truth. All will be weighed and judged…oh, God, let us accept your free gift of redemption…spare us from Your righteous wrath! Thank You, Christ Jesus, for paying the penalty for us, anything in us that deserves punishment. Please, LORD, heal our brokenness that none would perish. Give us ears to hear You, to heed Your words, to accept Your gift of love and forgiveness. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Psalms 34:18 NKJV “The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as have a contrite spirit.”

Psalms 60:2 “You have made the earth tremble;
You have broken it;
Heal its breaches, for it is shaking.”

Ephesians 2:14, 17 “For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation 17 And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near.”

Romans 10:9, 13 “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 13 ‘For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”’

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