There are no days off when you’re street involved. Maybe that’s the way it should be. Maybe if you’re serious about revealing Heaven on earth you’re always on call. Some days it’s trivial. A couple of guys arguing about who gets to sit on the bench outside. Some days it’s more intense. A couple of guys throwing punches. We have to respond quickly and appropriately to all situations.
Eight times we’ve had to answer the death of a Street Brother. That’s the worst. A friendship made and then gone. Gunshots and the results of substance abuse are usually involved. Eight times in 5 years and the clock is ticking for a number of others.
We receive criticism from some in The Church that we are wasting our time with these guys. “They’ve always been like this and they will never change,” we’re told. Nevertheless we move along through this world of darkness shining a little of the Light of Heaven as best as we can.
I received a call this morning that another brother was gone. Found dead on the street. Looks like a heart attack. My guess is his lifestyle choices brought it on. Too young. Too early.
He was with us last Wednesday evening as we spoke about the battle of our mind. The strongholds that keep us in bondage. How Jesus will break those strongholds for us if we let Him. So many want to be free but it’s hard to let go of what they know.
Does God hold them in judgement if they believe He can but they lack the strength to let Him? Is it really enough to believe? Is it really enough to know that He is Lord and lack the time and energy to move out of a lifestyle that includes substance abuse? I believe it is enough.
Our friend has left us but has entered the Fullness of The Kingdom we all long for. No more pain. No more sorrow. No more hunger. No more thirst. No more anger. No more homelessness. No more sickness.
Held in the Arms of our Father. Sleeping in a room prepared for him. Enjoying a banquet of dishes that fill a table. Seeing for the first time the Promise of the New Life and knowing that He’s finally Home.
Give up on him? Give up on anyone? Has God ever given up on us? Does mustard seed size Faith still count?
My soul mourns for my friend because I wish he could have experienced a better life here.
My soul rejoices though because he is now experiencing not just a better life but the best life. The one where he is finally, completely, and forever unshackled from bondage. I look forward to seeing him again someday and embracing him as I finally cross my finish line.