I think Hawk was dead before he arrived at the hospital. Hawk, real name Jeffery Stephan Hadden, was found on a bench in a place called Times Square, Fort Myers Beach Florida, this past Saturday night. He was homeless. By Sunday morning, the grapevine was spinning, trying to figure out who the homeless guy was who had a heart attack Saturday night. Some thought it was another guy who was really in the hospital being treated for osteomyelitis from a fight bite (so the streets call it). First Baptist, also known as Beach Baptist, in Fort Myers Beach, has known Hawk for a long time. The police notified the pastor, and the ball for what to do about Hawk, and the confirmation of who he was, not just a “homeless guy who died”, began to roll. Someone volunteered to go cut the lock and chain on Hawk’s bike and bring it back to the church as long as someone went with him so he didn’t get harassed for taking Hawk’s things. Discussions about the soul and eternity began and ended around the weekly free breakfast and the regular homeless crowd. You see, not many people really liked Hawk. He tended to be grouchy, keeping people at a distance, except for those few who he spoke to. He believed in God. He was mad at God. He was also mad at his brother because his brother killed his father. Hawk carried a lot of anger,and it showed in how he acted towards most people.
Being angry at God isn’t a good thing. God puts us through tests to prove our faith. Getting angry at him isn’t the right outcome. Giving in and becoming obedient to His will, loving Him, and turning to Christ in times of difficulty as well as good is the expected outcome. Not forgiving your brother is tough too. The Bible tells us that if we have something to settle with our brother, to go do it before we place ourselves in front of God for forgiveness. It also says that Peter was told that he should forgive his brother 7 time 70 times. That is a metaphor to continually be forgiving. Holding grudges and hatred and anger takes away from our time with our Lord. It needs to be let go.
So Hawk’s remains need to be claimed. Someone from Beach Baptist is trying to track down his family. There aren’t many leads to follow. His belongings arrived at Beach Baptist. Someone will go through them to see if there is anything of value or a clue as to who to contact. I think he had a cell phone…I wonder where it is. If no one claims his remains, he will be cremated with a mass of other people at the expense of the state and the ashes disposed of. His belongings are the total of one large garbage bag. That is it. For a man 59 years old, all there is of him is a big garbage bag of dirty clothes, odds and ends, and a used bike. We really don’t take anything with us in this world, and the less we have to leave behind, I wonder if that really isn’t the best thing after all? The point of our journey through this world is to get it as right as possible to get back home to heaven for eternity. That is through salvation of Jesus, our actions, our walk, our works and deeds, not through the amount or kind of belongings we collect along the way.
This is a bit of a wake up call. We all have finite days assigned to us. What we do during those finite number of days matters to the One who created us. How we spend those days, fill those days, is up to us. If I die on a park bench, alone, I pray I’ve done all I can while on the face of this planet to get home to heaven. I hope you do too.