Backwards and Tied
Oh the lies, they never end.
Last Sunday, I sat beside a friend of mine whom I have now known for 2 years. As he sat beside me with his head down, tears brimming his eyes, I felt my heart burning as I long for his freedom- spiritually, psychologically, and physically (if those aren’t one in the same).
The fact that he was even sitting in the seat beside me at church for the 3rd Sunday in a row was a miracle. The fact that he was able to push his shame aside to walk through those doors with my husband and I into our church- that he didn’t change his mind as he rode the bus there- that his past experience didn’t give him every excuse imaginable to turn back around- that is a miracle.
As I sit beside this guy, all I can see is a little boy. A scared little boy. My heart breaks to think of him walking back home from school alone each day as a kindergartener. To think that his mom wasn’t there when he went to sleep each night, and that he never even met his father. To think of this little boy who dropped out of school because he couldn’t manage to focus on school while his mind was consumed with the thoughts of the horror of his “home life”. And now I look at this boy sitting beside me who was brought to this country outside of his will, and found himself being sold on a street corner. This boy who pretends to be so tough- who is always talking to me about fighting (and unsuccessfully trying to teach me some techniques)- a boy who has had to learn to be tough enough to withstand the hell he was living through. I could never forget the time when there was a stabbing on the street corner, and this “tough boy” stood in front of me to protect me. I know that his big heart is still in there- hidden behind the fragmented wall built out of necessity to survive.
The pat 3 Sundays, I was certain that at the end of the service he was going to accept Christ. He is at the end of his rope, and he has no more hope. He is in desperate need of help but he cannot completely understand that that help alone can come from Jesus. Although we can try and design a restoration program for him, without Jesus there is no restoration, no healing, and definitely no future.
After the service, he confesses to me that he wants to know Jesus- he wants to have what the people in that building have- he desperately wants to have a life with hope…… and then he says, that lie that has somehow been planted in him… “I know that I have to change my life before I can accept Jesus”…….
No, no, no. There is no hope in ever successfully changing your life apart from Jesus. Jesus IS the change in your life.
So many people that we work with on the streets struggle with that lie- they are slaves to that lie- believing that they can never come close to the King of Kings until they are worthy. Little do they know, none of us are. Jesus is my credentials. HE is the only reason that I can come to Him. Jesus came for the ragamuffins, for the sick, for the broken, for those guys on a street corner who look way to scary and lost to even bother speaking to. Jesus’ heart is for the broken, for the outcast, for the oppressed. The only reason that you, or I, the pastor, or a "prostitute" can approach Jesus is because of who Jesus is.
Do you know him? What lies are holding you back from the embrace and healing, transformational power of Jesus?
Jesus said to them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." Mark 2:17
We are thankful to see this guy taking steps towards the Lord- seeking after him- and are filled with joy to see how the Lord is transforming his life and his heart. Please pray for him.