Yesterday we had a young man come to the church who was high on something, hungry, no driver’s license or other identification, wanting a busride to NorCal. He took the focus of our office for four hours, three pastors were engaged with this man, two pastors took him to purchase groceries, which he devoured on the spot, whole chicken turned finger food, chugged down with chocolate milk. He was given directions to the local shelter which wasn’t an option for him because “they might put him to work.”
Salting each sentence with choice explitives (the man, not our wonderful pastors) he refused to take the options provided by the pastor to help him. He refused to get help to obtain identification. He became demanding, pointing fingers, becoming beligerant, then ignoring the warning of a pastor, he chose to urinate behind the church offices. That was the last straw, the Sherriff was called and he was hauled off to another location somewhere.
Four hours. Three pastors. Was it worth it? Yes. Ministry is messy. But it doesn’t mean that it has the outcome that we hope. People have a free will. I’m so proud of our pastors for engaging this man and giving him an opportunity to take responsibility for his own choices. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem that he is close to hitting bottom yet, where he is ready to change. Some will, some won’t, who’s next? We do the right thing and let go of the outcomes.