Whither Wayne?


May 7, 2012 by captivetotruth

I was driving to the Men’s Breakfast Sunday morning when I saw him; he was sitting on the guard rail on the 380 bridge. You know that prompting you get sometimes from the Holy Spirit, telling you to turn around and get involved?

I pulled up to him, assuming from his disheveled look and sleepless eyes that he was homeless.

“Hey bud, have you eaten today?” I said, probably sounding annoyingly ministerial.

He said, “Naw, I ain’t homeless, dude. I live right over there behind the Racetrak.” This guy looked awful, like he’d been punched in the gut with a sledgehammer and tortured with mace. Something was terribly wrong here.

“Oh, okay.” I said. “My name is John, and I’m headed over to church for a men’s breakfast. Why don’t ya come with me? It’s just a bunch of guys getting together to support each other and pray for each other.”

“I’m Wayne. I got a church of my own. Thanks. But I just can’t go today.” 

“That’s fine. Wayne, you look like you need someone just to hang with you for awhile, maybe.” 

“You can pray for me, John,” he said.

“Sure. What can I pray for?”

“Well, I just found out that my wife is f*****g guys for meth. And I just want to die.”


Wayne wouldn’t let me help him. I even offered to go with him to get his wife out of the krak house and take her for help. But he couldn’t process. The blunt force of reality was too fresh for him. It was too early to stop the bleeding. All he allowed me to do was to promise to pray.

There are a lot of potential takeaways from this scenario.

  • I could translate Wayne’s situation into a metaphor for God’s brokenness over our unfaithfulness, and then use it as a sermon illustration while preaching through Hosea.
  • I could stand up and tell Wayne’s story, get some people weeping, and then segue into “People Need the Lord.” 
  • I could even start a “ministreh!” for people with meth-addicted spouses.

But, in the meantime, what do you say to Wayne when you meet him on the bridge? Do we believe that Jesus Christ speaks to Wayne’s situation right now?  


8 thoughts on “Whither Wayne?

  1. Anonymous says:

    John, I’m glad you stopped and did your best with Wayne. I don’t know how to stop the bleeding. But I think Wayne’s wife lives next door to me. But I’m a little too scared to go check for sure.


  2. Anonymous says:

    Tough situation… Two questions come to mind, and they are real questions not accusations. Indeed, anything one says risks the very thing you seemed concerned about, sounding ministerial. Were you are able to pray with him? Are you still praying for him? Did you do the one thing he did ask for? (Okay that’s three questions:) At the risk of sounding pious, “Lord, we thank for this post and how it makes think and get in touch with out helplessness; teach us how pray, really pray. We don’t want to be like Job’s friends, with pat answers that don’t really penetrate the reality; there’s so much we don’t know. We thank you for Wayne and ask you would be at work in his life and bring restoration and wholeness; be with the author of this post and grant him/her your deep wisdom as he prays for Wayne, and a taste of your peace for them both. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”


    • Captive to Truth says:

      Now this is what I call a response. Thanks, Thomas. You always ask the probing questions. Love ya.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Most of us are so caught up in our world we don’t even think about people in Waynes world. We have a lot of those in our life’s that have some how lost their way, Your story helps remind us to be on the look out for those that really need to be set free from the bonds of the flesh, keep up the good work.
    Thank you for the message.

  4. Anonymous says:

    To be honest, it is convicting to read how you responded to Wayne. I can’t think of anything I would have done differently. I keep Bibles with me and try to give them to folks because I believe that the gospel is the power of God to salvation. I don’t know, maybe he would just throw it over the bridge. I’m scrambling here. Stop next time you see him too, I guess?

    Dave Swinney

    • Captive to Truth says:

      Swinney, those are great ideas. I can assure you, I left feeling woefully inadequate and a downright failure. There was nothing in the typical “pastoral” bag of helps in that situation.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Wayne and his wife both need treatment for meth addiction, plus they need support from people. If they have family that would be a start, if not then the church could be their family. The biggest thing would be the time committment. Meanwhile, simply speaking the gospel into his life is the best thing you can do. We may not realize the impact something like a one time encounter has. I saw a guy last week that had visited our church 6 years ago. He came to church on meth. I preached about the need for repentance and the deliverance of the cross and how those who practice drug use are not in the kingdom. He got really mad and confronted me after the service. Last week I saw him, he is off meth and clean. He told me that he was sorry for his outburst and asked my forgiveness. He also told me that what I said that day was exactly what he needed to hear. He is now married, has a stable job and is on the recovery road. So, what you did may be all you could do, and maybe what God wanted that day!

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