“Great,” Isabella shouted. “It’s the church next to the helping place for people who didn’t say no to drugs. We quit going a long time ago, when mommy was sad all the time, but now, she’s happy.”
Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (ESV)
She looked at him and said, “Kids this is Mr. Carlos.” They said, “Hi Mr. Carlos.” She said, “Introduce yourselves.”
"Carlos responded, “No, that’s not…” Selena interrupted and said, “Please add his meal to my ticket.” The waitress said, “yes ma’am”, laid a single menu on the booth table, and went to the front.” Selena noticed the menu and said, “You can eat with us if you’d like?”
Psalms 77:14, “You are the God who works wonders; you have made known your might among the peoples.” (ESV)
Carlos, shocked, upset, but even more so empathetic said, “it’s okay buddy,” and proceeded to help the kid pick up the plate. At that moment, his mom ran up to the three of them and exclaimed, “Oh mister I’m so sorry!”
"Jokingly he said to himself (and God), “I tell you what God, if you can make miracles happen, then do that. Yep. Pull that off. You do that. Huh, then maybe, just maybe you’ll have a believer in me.”
John 4:48, “So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” (ESV)
He told the professor, “I’d love to.” The professor wrote down the address and time and gave it to Carlos. Carlos took the paper, left the class, and went off campus to get something to eat.
"As he was about to ask, the professor shouted, “Take your seats and open your books to Chapter 7."
1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (ESV)
What was left to know?
The professor said, “Juan was the deacon at my church who taught me the gospel and baptized me.” Carlos stood puzzled, unsure of what to think or say. However, in that moment it clicked.
"The professor asked, “Do you know who that was that you dropped off?”
1 Timothy 2:4, “Who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (ESV)
After that Juan went inside and Carlos looked to see who had spoken. It was dark and he was unable to make out the face. He saw the glow of a cigarette, after a long inhale, it was flicked to the ground and stomped out. The counselor stepped forward and in shock, Carlos asked, “Professor, is that you?”
"Juan said, “I’d be glad to.”
Psalms 34:6, “This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles.” (ESV)
Immediately, Carlos began to plead with Juan to reconsider. He reminded him of his children and told him that if he ever wanted another chance to connect with his family, he’d have to fix his life.”
“I left because I didn’t feel as if I deserved his kindness, I don’t feel I deserve a second chance. I don’t believe that a guy like me deserves to live.”
2 Thessalonians 3:15, “Do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.” (ESV)
“I was frozen when I saw her bring out the plate. She looked beautiful.”
“In my mind, I didn’t deserve her love. I didn’t deserve her heart. She went from rags to riches, just to go back to rags. From fame to shame, all because of me and my greed.”
James 4:10, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” (ESV)
Carlos knew he was hurt; however, he couldn’t avoid the fact that there were questions that desperately needed answers. He asked, “Why did you push her away? I mean, at a time when you didn’t have anyone, why would you get rid of one of the few people, who was willing to stand by you in all of this?”
“For the first time in a long time, I wasn’t plagued by my past. I was free of the torment of my crimes, my liquidation, my incarceration, and…” he paused and snickered. “I was free from the abandonment of my family.”
Numbers 23:19, “God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?” (ESV)
As he pondered this situation, Juan sobbed and said, “I almost ended it all yesterday.” This statement seemed to bring everything to a still silence.
"As he pondered this situation, Juan sobbed and said, “I almost ended it all yesterday.” This statement seemed to bring everything to a still silence"
Ecclesiastes 11:7, “Light is sweet, and it pleases the eyes to see the sun.” (NIV)
Selena stood, outed her cigarette and said, “Well, when you find him, you make sure to tell him that I said this: “Stay away from me, MY kids, and my place of business.”