I ran across an anonymous poem titled “Just Checking In Today”. Allow me to take it from poetry to prose, and pass along what is a heart warming story to me. It goes like this:
One day a minister walked into the sanctuary of his church in the middle of the day. The building was unlocked, and he wondered if anyone ever stopped in to pray. When the back door opened a man walked in. The fellow hadn’t shaved. His coat was tattered, and his shirt was torn and shabby. The fellow knelt down and prayed, then quickly hurried away. This scene was repeated precisely at noon for the next several days. Finally the minister stopped the gentleman and asked what he was doing. It seems the fellow was a factory worker who had only half an hour for lunch, so he brought his lunch pail and came to pray. His prayer was simple. “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.”
One day Ben didn’t show up. More days passed and still no sign of Ben. The minister was beginning to worry, so he checked at the factory and learned that his new found friend was in the hospital. He went to visit. The nurse said Ben had been there for a week. While there he brought smiles and joy that were contagious. The staff couldn’t understand how he could be so joyful and glad. No one came to visit. No one had called. There were no flowers or cards. Sitting by Ben’s bed, the minister voiced the nurse’s concern.
Looking surprised, Ben spoke up and said, “The nurse is wrong. A dear friend of mine comes by every day at noon. He leans over and says, ‘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.’”