One of my good homeless friends often assumes people are going to do drugs. Many times when we don’t hear from somebody for a while, he’ll assume they’re getting high or drunk or something. We were talking about a friend who was starting to live in the healing home yesterday, and he predicted that our friend wasn’t going to make it due to his drug problem. I wanted to hope that he’d make it, that he would make it through 30 days of not leaving the house (“restriction”) that is meant to strip residents of addictions.
You know what? He’s probably right more often than I’d like. He’s spent a lot more time on the streets than I have, he knows how to read people who are slaves to substances, and knows what it does to them. He sees my hope in people as naivete.
But I believe that people react to what’s expected of them. If everybody always expected you to be up to no good, and you wanted to do drugs already, then you’d keep on that path. But imagine that just one person believed that you could be more, and could transcend all the garbage that’s been strewn in your life. That person would be making themselves vulnerable, because if you fail, such a hopeful person person would be disappointed.
How can I be that person? How can my strength for this come from the Lord Almighty? Seeing the evil in people protects oneself from letdowns, but I’m on the streets not to just survive, but to instill the hope in Jesus in people.