They come from the streets of the inner cities. They come from the streets of the suburbs, from country towns, from farmlands. They come from schools, from various work backgrounds. They come from diverse family backgrounds. “They” are people, fellow human beings. And they came to us asking for help at the Mission.
They were, are, weary of living under the power of drugs and alcohol. Pharmakeia is the Greek word translated to mean “Sorcery” in the English translation of the Bible. Pharmakeia is where we get the English word for “Pharmacy” or drugs. Drug and alcohol addiction, we call it in our society. It’s not diminishing as a severe threat to humanity. It is growing.
This little post is but a short introduction with more to come of some of my experiences from inside the Mission of getting to know some of our fellow human beings, our neighbors, who wanted to find the cure to living under the burden of self-inflicted wounds that wouldn’t heal.
This notation I recorded in my journal began as a comment response to a fellow blogger who wrote an article that invited these memories to come forth once again.
To quote Charles Dickens’ opening line in his A Tale of Two Cities, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” However, I thought of it as a “Tale of Two Worlds.” The world we live in that deteriorates evermore daily, and the world of redemption that God invitingly beckons us.
“I worked with many, as you so aptly described lacking the ability to accept love. The many years I served in ministry of the Lord on behalf of the homeless and drug/alcohol addicts at the Mission, were some of the most heartbreaking to me.
They would listen to my words with wishful expressions on their faces, wringing their hands with pleading eyes looking back at me. They said they believed what I was saying but couldn’t “feel it.” I witnessed the results, and I kept count, twenty-one of those who couldn’t receive it (the Love of Jesus) over that particular four-year timeline either died from suicide or drug OD. I committed to stop counting for my own sanity’s sake.
But the several years I served the Lord in that ministry, I also witnessed many miraculous happy endings for many and their families. The Lord is after all in the business of miracles, and I keep reminding myself of that fact, as I witnessed many receive who welcomed His healing, and requested baptism into their newly committed lives to Him.”
“When (Jesus) saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.” Matthew 9:36
“Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40