Today I went out to do street ministry on Kensington Avenue--quite an eye opening and what would be shocking environment to many. I went out on Tuesday and Thursday (today) of this week. My eyes have seen many things---people held captive to addiction and lifestyles of self-pleasure and sin. And yet at the same time I was reminded of the depths of God's love for each one----and how much He longs to bring sinners to repentance.
I heard a mother's heart break as she told of the difficult choices her son had made to live and sell his addiction on the streets, and I listened to her prayers that God would break him and bring her one and only son to Himself. Some of the choices that people are making on this avenue and many other places in our world and nation lead them to time in prison. But whether or not they end up in a physical prison, they are definitely bound in a spiritual prison controlled by the father of lies that tells them they need substances of various sorts, pills, or sex to fulfill their needs.
Sometimes it takes going through much and exhausting all of the options, continually coming up empty-handed to realize that JESUS is who they really need.....and we aren't any different than those who some would classify as being "out there."
So my prayer for those on the streets is adapted from Psalm 142:7 with some slight changes in the pronouns.
"Lord, Set them free from their prison, that they may praise your name. Then the righteous will gather about them because of your goodness to them."
So being out on Kensington Avenue has been very good for me to ponder and pray for those I've seen, and to remember that, "but for the grace of God, who's to say that I would not have done the same things?"