Real Life: Calling Luis

A few weeks ago I blogged about a new friendship that I had created with a guy at the local homeless shelter named Luis. (Read that story here)

The night I met Luis I asked him if I could call him two days later to check in. I was hoping that he would have an update on his job and a little better idea of what his next steps would be. On cue, I called Luis on Thursday to check in, but no one answered. The voicemail stated a different name than he had told me, so I have no idea if I was calling the correct number or not. I left a message but did not hear back. I then called the next morning and once again got no answer.

At first I wasn’t sure what to think. To be honest I had a range of emotions.

Initially, I was disappointed because I wanted to know if he had a better end of the week and kept his job. I also had really enjoyed our conversation and genuinely wanted to get to know him better. I was disappointed because I had no idea how to continue the friendship that had been started.

I also felt a little sense of frustration. Maybe I was duped and given a wrong phone number just to be left alone? Maybe my expectations were far different from his.

I also felt robbed of an opportunity. I truly want to love God and love people. I want to learn how to love the homeless in a way that values them as people and not as objects of our benevolence. I want to be stretched and challenged to see beyond myself, and I felt as if this would be a good opportunity to learn and experience that.

I also felt a little confused. What should I do now? What if I really did have the wrong number and he was wondering why I never called? I didn’t want to be a flash in the pan friend, someone there to serve a religious duty but happy to not have to get “involved” with his problems. I want to be different and not send the wrong message.

I have ultimately settled on the fact that this just wasn’t what God had in store for either Luis or myself. I am not sure why it didn’t work out, but I am OK with that. I have prayed for Luis a few times over the past few days and hope that he is doing well and finding some encouragement where he needs it. God knows Luis’s situation and I know that He is caring for Luis’s needs.

As I continue to become more and more involved with the shelter, I hope that another opportunity to speak with Luis will come. If not, that is OK too. I continue to remind myself that this is not about me or my needs. It is about making myself available for God to use me. I will continue to be faithful to trying to start relationships and getting to know my neighbors even when it doesn’t work out as I expected. Failed expectations are a part of learning and growing…a part of relationships. I have a feeling this is just the first of many more to come.

Image courtesy of Michael Hilton /
By | 2014-01-27T11:30:22+00:00 January 27th, 2014|Categories: Learn and Apply, 2:10|

About the Author:

John Warden is Reconciled World’s global staff pastor and the facilitator for 2:10. He holds a Masters of Religion from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and has more than fifteen years of ministry experience. He lives in Sioux Falls, SD with his wife and two daughters. You can contact him directly at

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