A Homeless Friend

This is Steve.  Steve is a very good friend of mine and he’s homeless.  He’s a very familiar face around Glenwood Springs and the Roaring Fork Valley.  Before we first met in November of 2010 I used to see him around town all the time.  I’ll never forget the first time I saw him walking by the church when I came to Glenwood Springs in the summer of 2009.   The reason why I’ll never forget it is because of the way he dresses.  Steve wears a Yamakah, has long hair that’s dyed black and blonde down to his shoulders and dresses like a cowboy.  Just by seeing him you know he’s a character and I remember thinking “I’ve got get to know this guy”.  Eventually I did when the church I serve started feeding the homeless every month.  It was there that Steve and I sparked up a relationship and it has grown vastly ever since.  A week doesn’t go by without Steve and I speaking at least once.

Now here’s some really interesting background information about this man.  Steve came to Glenwood Springs after living in Dallas, Texas for many years.  While in Texas he was one of the state’s best Social Security lawyers.  Before moving to Texas to practice law Steve practiced law in the Marines and was also one of the best military lawyers at the time.  Interestingly enough, I found this out from another homeless guy who is a Marine who is also very good friends with Steve.  Steve also has a family, he is still legally married and has 5 daughters and 22 grandchildren.  Yet, he hasn’t seen his wife or daughters since 2003 and hasn’t met any of his grandchildren.  Steve left all of this behind because he claims that since he was a baby he has been called by God to be a “Viceroy for Jesus”.  He claims that it all began when his car flew him from Dallas to Abilene, Texas.  From there he went to Los Angeles to Las Vegas to Glenwood Springs.  He lives here because this is where the Lord wants him.  Actually, he claims that when Jesus returns he will first appear on Aspen Mountain which is why he spends so much time down there as well.

For many years Steve has lived up on the hill behind the Target in our town.  Recently he, along with some of the homeless, was kicked off of the hill by the city despite their very good behavior.  One of the reasons Steve slept outside was because of a vow he made to the Lord about sleeping outside.  Unfortunately, because of what happened he has had to break his vow and hops around Glenwood Springs sometimes staying at our church and sometimes staying at the Methodist Church but he still sleeps outside when he’s down in Aspen.  To the right is a picture of the tent that we helped him set up on the hill last September.  Unfortunately, the police came through and took all of his belongings and threw them in the trash.  This was rather frustrating for me because I had put a lot of work into stabilizing the tent so he could sleep in it without having to worry about the wind or snow…grrrr (P.S. please don’t report me to the police or use Romans 13 against me).

Anyways, Steve has become a big part of our lives here in Glenwood Springs.  We often have him over for dinner and drive him around town when he needs to get things done.  In fact, what’s really cool is how he’s become apart of our church family as well.  He always attends our Sunday morning bible study but never worship because he has a vow against that.  And the members have taken him in and treat him as they do each other which is really great to witness.  Right now Steve is helping the church put in a garden as he has quite the green thumb.  He and I spent part of the day running around town and getting supplies for the garden.  In fact, he also has a little garden that he takes care of at the Methodist church as well as plenty of different flowers and plants all around town at different stores and restaurants.

So this is Steve, a homeless friend or as he says “a wayfaring man” who is our friend.  He’s on a mission for God and he’s a “Viceroy for Jesus”.  He helps to make Glenwood Springs a great place for my wife and I and he’s someone who I’m sure we’ll never forget.  Becca and I look forward to the days when we have children and they know him as “Uncle Steve”.  Just as he is apart of our lives now we hope he will be apart of children’s lives too.  We hope that they see it as normal to have homeless people over to our house and break bread with them.







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