Monday, November 07, 2005

Fast and Pray

I’m not impressed with the streets or “street life” anymore. Created long ago, way under those streets is God’s good earth. It was there first. The “street” is a facade and I will no longer be impressed with it’s culture, menace or power. It is false.

Too many of my friends are under the sway of the “streets”. They feel there is no escape. They feel powerless to get up out of it’s grasp on their lives and I am sick of it.

Isaiah wept this week, so overcome with grief over his life. He doesn’t know why he can’t just get up out of the park and get over it. But it is too overwhelming for him to imagine something else for his life. He wants to change and is scared to death of change. “This ain’t me” he says, “I know what I need to do but I can’t seem to do it.”

Pearl used to be involved in the life and outreach of a church. She’s hooked on drugs and prostitutes herself on 9th street. She says getting to where she is now was one little step at a time and doesn’t see the way back. We offered her our help but fear and addiction keep her where she is.

Patti has let CPS take her children because of her drug use. She is so far inside herself that it is impossible to get a real human response from her. She cannot stop. She is powerless in her addictions. There are so many layers over her heart that she doesn’t even know who she is anymore. She is Gollum. She is almost a non-being. Her room is filth. She is abused and abuses.

For so long, our attitude toward the poor has been to say, “well, they got themselves into this mess and that’s that...there’s nothing we can do.” Good thing Jesus didn’t say that about us. He didn’t help us problem solve our way out of hell. We can’t pull our bootstraps up that far! HE SET US FREE!

“This kind comes not out but by prayer and fasting.” The words of Jesus. How else do we expect it to work? How can we pray if we do not know? How can we know if we are not there? How can we be there if we do not go?

"The people of the land have practiced oppression and committed robbery, and they have wronged the poor and needy and have oppressed the sojourner without justice. I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one.” Ez. 22:29-30


Anonymous said...

I fully agree, Chris. The streets are man made, and many of the struggles of the people that live in them are as well.
Many other struggles of the people of the streets existed in man before there were ever streets, too.
The people of the streets of Modesto truly are blessed to have your team among them, as there are cities much larger that don't have people like you reaching out to them.
It would be nice to track the history of each person in the street and find out what put them there. I'm sure you'll find common strings: a history of poverty, adverse living conditions, poor parenting, bad decisions, laziness, addiction, so on. How do you turn things around before they become people that so badly need outreach?
And here's the scariest thing: I often bear the same frustration for friends who suffer through addiction, loneliness, moral bankruptcy, and the rest. And while they may have a steady job and live beneath a roof, their heart has no sense of home.

May God continue to bless people through your ministry, Chris. While you will continually grow frustrated with the facade that is the street, you are embodying Him and His Spirit to those you reach, with frienship AND food. What more can be asked of you?

I look forward to the day I can come down there and see your works firsthand. I look forward to meeting many of the names you and Aaron have spoken of in your blogs.

Anonymous said...

Hi Chris love your blog. I came across it while looking for pray. I know Fast and Pray is not an exact match but thanks for the read. I'll get on with my search for pray stuff and will visit again sometime. Take Care