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Creative, Courageous Care

The man's clothes were grimy and tattered. His eyes were bloodshot.

When he asked the minister for "a couple of bucks," the minister knew he was more likely to spend them at the liquor store than the corner grocery, but he assented anyway—with one request: that the homeless man would visit his church. "We have a soup kitchen throughout the week, and we'd love for you to be our guest on Sunday morning as well."

"No," the man said with a weak smile. "I believe in God and everything, but I'm not ready to go to church yet." He explained that there were things in his life that needed straightening out first.

It's a common refrain from many people—both homeless and wealthy. They put off any real engagement with God and the church until they feel they're rid of their dirt. The irony, of course, is that the church is where people are supposed to be going to get cleaned up.

Many in today's culture see an invisible sign over church doors that reads: PERFECT PEOPLE ONLY. THE BROKEN NEED NOT ...

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