Friday, June 15, 2012
Pray for the weak
For years, a disturbed man has protested downtown here in Modesto. His claims are unclear but he has been quite upset. Many, including our team, have tried to talk to him, hear his story or offer him help. I'm sure he's also had his fair share of detractors. He has refused help or conversation and is obviously dealing with debilitating mental health issues.
He is sometimes outside a church building we've been invited to use for hosting teams. Jimmy and I have been there working on music lately too. Every time I see Ramon, I am confronted with feelings of helplessness. When we pass him, the only thing I've known to do is pray for mercy.
Recently, he took his protest up a notch by ceasing to eat. He has gotten so thin and frail. And I got to witness this week a mercy this man has needed for a long time. Leaving the church, I saw that the police had finally intervened as he was a threat to himself and public safety. You can read the articles about this in our local paper HERE.
It's difficult to know what to do for the mentally ill who are alone (by choice or not) and living in poverty. I often feel helpless on 9th Street.
I remember hearing a pastor talk about prayer once. How we see it as a last resort after we do what we know how to do. We pray when our abilities come to an end. He likened someone saying "Well, I can't do much but I can pray" to saying "Well, I don't have a slingshot but I do have this inter-continental ballistic missile".
Please, let's pray for Ramon. Pray for Cheryl on South 9th Street and Debbie and Cherelle and John and Catherine and Sonja and Arlene and whenever you encounter the poor and mentally ill where ever you are. Listen, be a friend, make eye contact, love, feed and most of all, pray, "Our Father.."