|Photo Credit: Ashley Sturgis|
Flickr Creative Commons
I encountered this individual in the foyer of a large commercial building. He was between two sets of doors, one set locked to the inside and the other open to the street, and he was clearly quite drunk or high on something. I remember thinking to myself, “There sits another drunken ****** (racial slur).”
God forgive me.
What did I do about it? Well, what I didn’t do was act very Christ-like. I called the security guard and had the poor soul evicted from his warm refuge between the doors. My Christian “love” put this man back outside on the street.
“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do” (Romans 7:15)
|Photo Credit: Dan Iggers, Flickr Creative Commons|
It’s been said that looking at an addict is like looking in a mirror. The problem we have with the addicted individual is the very problem that deep down we have with ourselves. Granted, we may not have a cocaine addiction like the guy down the street, but we do have our own addictions. We all do. We may not all confess that, but I would argue that it’s true; we all do.
I was at a seminar a while ago where the guest speaker, an expert in the area of addictions, suggested that society’s war on drugs is actually quite misdirected. Could it be that the church’s war with the ways of the world; that is, on sin, drugs and addictions is just as misdirected? How so, you ask?
|Photo Credit: Occupy Posters|
Flickr Creative Commons
In the case of the church, do we focus too much on the sin of the unchurched and the addicted street bum, instead of seeing in them a brother or sister for whom Christ also died? Instead of seeing someone who we have written off as hopelessly lost, dare we see ourselves sitting among the 99, while Jesus on the other hand, goes looking for that specific one lost sheep? Instead of focusing on the stink of his body odor, urine, reek of alcohol, and who knows what else, do we really need to be reminded that “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6; NIV)? Bottom line, with our noses perched high in the air due to our self-righteousness, do our eyes look down on them in an act of judgmental condemnation? Hmm, I wonder.
|Photo Credit: LMAP, Flickr Creative Commons|
It has often been suggested that most of us are really only one paycheck away from homelessness ourselves. Think about it, if you lost your job today, how long do you think it would be before the bank came knocking and forced you out into the street? What if we really started to believe that, there but for the grace of God go I? What if we started to see our reflection in the face of the next addicted or drunken street bum we meet?
|Photo Credit: Ed Yourdon, Flickr Creative Commons|
Hmm, what if? Anyway, that’s the way I see it.