I knew the punch was coming before it was even thrown.
After he hit me in the chest 3 times, I was able to convince him to sit back down on the sidewalk and sip some coffee.
With that, my day had taken an interesting turn.
When the guy had wandered into my store 20 minutes before, he plopped into a chair and began to drift off to sleep. I encouraged him to wake up and come outside with me. As we sat on the ground, he told me he was tripping on Ecstasy. He might have been...I really don't know. I do know he was not with it. I also know I felt God's presence.
Years ago I would have avoided these situations like the plague. I never used to feel comfortable around people who were "tripping." God, well He had other plans. Instead of fear, trepidation or general anxiety, I felt an overwhelming peace and genuine care for this guy having a bad reaction to something in his system.
Philippians 4:7, "and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
I knew he needed to be in a safe place, he was liable to hurt himself or others. While getting his coffee I asked one of volunteers to call the police. He needed to be off the street, for his own safety.
As I walked back out and set his coffee down I immediately knew the blow was about to come. After his 3 quick hits, I asked him if he was ready for his coffee. Then I sat with him as we sipped coffee and chatted.
After a time (still waiting for the cops) he began to put his hand close to my face and started to tap me on the side of the head...I looked at him and said, "You can stop now." With that he lowered his hand...a bit...
He then began to curse some more...and then he said something else..."Why are you an Angel. Why are you being so kind to me."
"Jesus loves you and I care...you are obviously in a bad place right now and I don't want to see you get hurt."
He shook my hand and got up to leave...spewed a few more curse words, then began to stagger towards the road.
He walked right into the arms of the police and quietly let them handcuff him and take him away...
Whatever happens next, I thank God for His peace, His protection and His Love. While this guy was tripping I felt love, while he was smacking me in the chest...I felt love, while he was cursing me and raising his hand to my face...I felt love. Loved by God and love for this stranger.