Johnson* and his friend hurried past us on Broadway, I see they have the look of “business” in their gait. As I talked with Rocky* a man whispered in his ear, as I have seen hundreds of times before on Broadway, a desperate brokering for drugs. Arnold* trudged past saying that he was going to check himself into the psych ward. Trevor,* unfamiliar with who we were, asked that if we knew of anyone who would want any “black” (black tar heroin) to let him know. It was an ordinary Friday night.
As we walked and prayed I had an overwhelming sense of sadness as all of this, the drugs, the madness, the violence to self and others, the futility has all become so normal, ordinary, and even mundane, not just to those a part of street culture, but us who live among them.
It is life.
Evil really has done its work in making what ought not be, what was not intended, an ordinary, expected part of life. Of course in this world of fallen people and sin things like addictions, homelessness, and mental illness are realities, but when did we stop raging and weeping for the poor, the afflicted, the widows and orphans? When did we shut our eyes, mouths and hearts to the suffering and lifeless living of our neighbors? It was when we failed in our inaction, apathy, laziness, and selfishness, a turning of a blind eye to the work of evil. It was when we failed to say no to evil’s work of defacing humanity with the erasing of hope, desire, love, and redemption in the hearts of those on the streets and the hearts of you and me, which in turn said yes to a life of futility and a soul numbing existence for them and for us.
I have to be continually reminded of who I am in Christ, and what I have been so graciously given by Him. He is the reason I fight my own inaction, laziness and selfishness and settling for the futility of mere existence as inevitable for those on the street, because in Him is kindness and hope. He is the reason I can stand firmly and to the face of evil plainly say, NO to what ought not be on behalf of the street community and others who have yet to come to know Him, because in Him is truth and authority. He is the reason we can boldly proclaim and live life and all that is intended by our Father and Lord, because in Him is mercy and strength.
He is life.
So in Him, let’s live. I invite you to join us in body and spirit, to stand, walk, and pray with us for transformation in the lives of the street community and all of Capitol Hill and that Capitol Hill would be marked as a shining light in the Kingdom of God.
Just a reminder, if you would like to continue to receive these emails then please respond to this email with a short note indicating your desire. Beginning in February only those who have responded will continue to receive these emails. Thank you to those who have already responded
*Names have been changed