A priest passing thru his church in the middle of the day decided to pause by the altar to see who came to pray. Just then the back door opened, and a man came down the aisle. The Priest frowned as he saw the man had not shaved in a while. His shirt was torn and shabby, and his coat was worn and frayed. The man knelt down and bowed his head, then rose and walked away.
In the days followed at precisely noon, the Priest saw this chap, each time he knelt just for a moment, a lunch pail in his lap. Well, the Priest’s suspicions grew, with robbery a main fear. He decided to stop and ask the man, ‘What are you doing here?’ The old man said he was a factory worker and lunch was half an hour. Lunchtime was his prayer time, for finding strength and power. I stay only a moment because the factory’s far away; as I kneel here talking to the Lord, this is kind of what I say: ‘I Just came by to tell you, Lord, how happy I have been, since we found each other’s friendship and you took away my sin. Don’t know much of how to pray, but I think about you Every day. So, Jesus, this is Ben, Just Checking in Today.’
The Priest feeling foolish, told Ben that it was fine. He told the man that he was welcome to pray there anytime. ‘It’s time to go, and thanks,’ Ben said as he hurried to the door. Then the Priest knelt there at the altar, which he’d never done before. His heart melted, warmed with love, as he met with Jesus there. As the tears flowed down his cheeks, He too repeated old Ben’s prayer which he had never done.
Past noon one day, the Priest noticed that old Ben had not come. As more days passed and still no Ben, he began to worry some. At the factory, he asked about him, learning he was ill. The hospital staff was worried, but he’d given them a thrill. The week that Ben was with them, brought changes in the ward. His smiles and joys were contagious and changing people were his reward. He wanted them to be cheerful and happy at all times.
The head nurse could not understand why Ben could be so glad, when no flowers, calls or cards came, not a visitor he had. The Priest stayed by his bed, He voiced the nurse’s concern: No friends had come to show they cared. He had nowhere to turn. Looking surprised, old Ben spoke up and with a winsome smile: ‘The nurse is wrong, she couldn’t know, ‘He’s been here all the while.’ Every day at noon He comes here, a dear friend of mine, you see, He sits right down and takes my hand, leans over and says to me: ‘I just came by to tell you, Ben, how happy I have been, since we found this friendship, and I took away your sin. I think about you always, and I love to hear you pray, and so Ben, this is Jesus, Just Checking in Today.
If this blesses you, pass it on. Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart. May God hold you in the palm of His hand and His Angels watch over you………