Imagine with me a pastor walking through the city on an azure winter day, clear skies with a wind that is chilling enough to appreciate the coziness of your clothing. On his walk he sees a homeless man sitting in an alley with a small makeshift cardboard shelter, a blanket, a pillow, and a shopping cart with a couple stacks of Bibles.
The pastor approaches the man and asks, “Where did you get all of those?”
Pulling down the scarf over his face he responds in a raspy voice, “I go to churches every evening hoping to find a warm place to sleep and during the day to get away from the chilling wind. When I ask if I could rest in their sanctuaries, or just sleep on their porch, they tell me no and that I needed to find a shelter. When I share that I am afraid to go to shelters because I have experienced abuse and theft, they will often hand me a Bible and say, ‘Read through the Bible and you will find the strength to trust God that he will take care of you.’ So I take the Bible and return to this alley every evening to go to sleep. After discovering how well and long they burned, I began keeping them and using them to warm myself in the evening.”
With a disgusted look the pastor said, “How dare you burn the word of God, you should be ashamed.”
Grabbing the shopping cart he ran down the sidewalk with tears running down his face mourning the loss of the now dead Bibles.
Later that evening the homeless man still had nowhere else to sleep, and no fire to keep him warm. Shivering, he closed his eyes to go to sleep before breathing his last.