Bible reading led one Oklahoma City metro bus driver to do something many would find extraordinary: On a winter night three years ago, Anthony Thomas invited a complete stranger to stay at his house.
Before that night, Thomas had major changes in his life, studied the Bible daily and wondered how to translate what he was reading to understanding the real meaning of laboring.
Then, one cold night three years ago, he overheard a conversation involving one of the passengers on his Metro Transit bus. The passenger was Cyrus, a man with swastikas tattooed on his arm. Cyrus needed a place to stay for the night. Thomas, recalling his readings, told Cyrus, “You can stay at my house.”
Shocked by the invitation, Cyrus accepted as tears streamed down his face, Thomas recalled.
Thomas looked at his own journey, his place in God's kingdom and remembered, “Do unto to others as you would have them do unto you,” and at that moment, he said, he understood what “laboring” in the Bible meant — to take action.
Cyrus's experience at Thomas's home with his wife Ann and children started something that grew quickly. At one time, 30 people were living with Thomas and his family.
Some stayed a couple of days; others a couple of years. Some wondered whether God was real and whether he loved them. Thomas knew his answer. “No money for shelter or food was required. I only wanted those who stayed with us to understand how much God loved them,” Thomas, now 43, said.
Ann Thomas said helping others is the true application of God's word.
“After years of living in Los Angeles as a single woman, I felt an urgency to accomplish something and started to pray and ask for direction,” Ann Thomas, 41, said. “Anthony was the answer to my prayer for a loving family and a desire to make a difference in the lives of others. Together, after reading the Bible for hours on a daily basis the Gospel was revealed to us — live in truth, life does not have to be perfect, but in applying God's word, one is able to help others.”
Anthony views his work as looking at the uniqueness and beauty of every person as a jewel and treasure.
“Dad is a treasure hunter,” said Kyesha, his 17-year-old daughter.