Monday, May 18, 2009

Desperate People Do Desperate Things

Every ministry has it trials.  My ministry to addicts has left me open
to manipulation, games,and thefts of all sorts.  If there is a game that an addict can play on someone, I have probably had it played on me. About the time I think I have grown wiser to them, a new game comes up. I have always believed there is a cost to an education.  My educational cost this month will be to buy a new camera, as I had mine stolen last month. 

In the early days of my ministry, when things like this would happen, I would feel violated, confused and hurt. And yes, I would feel like a fool for them getting over on me.  There were times that I actually prayed, “God, do not send another addict my way.” This was one of those prayers that God said,  “No”.

Ok, if God was not going to give me my request, then I must learn to deal with the people He sent me some other way. I could not fall apart mentally, emotionally, and spiritually every time I was played or taken advantage of.

I was shocked one time when an addict (after stealing my car) said to me, “Well, it is your fault, you knew I was an addict.” Indeed, I was incensed, “You mean you get to victimize me and I have to carry the blame for it as well?” I latter learned that part of the addictive personality is the blame game.  It makes it easier to justify their addictive behavior.

Finally, one day after another incident, the Lord told me “Desperate people do desperate things.” There are many desperate people in my neighborhood.  People desperate for food, for housing, for clothing, for jobs, for medical attention, for drugs and alcohol, for attention, for love, for God.   Have you ever been desperate, I have.  At that point, I began to understand the behavior that compelled some people to behave the way they do. (I do not condone their behavior; I only somewhat understand it.)

And it helped me to understand better how I should respond to these people.  First, I determined to respond to them scripturally. A flood of scripture came to me.  “Be wise as a serpent, but gentle as a dove.”  “Turn the other cheek.” “Forgive me, my trespasses, as I forgive others.” “If I love only those who love me, what good is that?” “Pray for them that despitefully use you.”  By placing me in the hood, God was giving me a daily opportunity to live the scripture, not just hear it.

Second, I decided to stand on the character and promises of God towards me.  “I am your provider.” “I will never leave you or forsake you.” “No weapon formed against you shall prevail.” “All things work together for good to them that are called according to His purpose.” Living in the hood, has giving me greater opportunity to trust God and to take him at his word.

I have come to several conclusions after all these years:

God is enough.  I have asked myself, If I have nothing left in this earth-no possessions, no friends, no family, no health, is God enough?  I have concluded, yes He is!

            Obedience is better than sacrifice. Although I have often discovered that obedience will of require sacrifice, if nothing else the sacrifice of my self will.

            Desperate people do desperate things and sinners do what sinners do, therefore I should not be shocked or amazed by their behavior.  They are doing what come naturally to them.  Yet, God loves them, not for their actions, but despite their actions. If I call myself a child of God, can I do any less?

As the old gospel song goes, “He looked beyond my faults and saw my needs.” My constant prayer is “Lord, help me to look past their faults and see their need, as you have done for me. I too am a desperate person. I am desperate for you.”


  1. Thank you for this perspective. What a Christ-like spirit you portray! May God continue to richly bless you in your ministry to those desperately need help!

  2. You bring glory to Jesus' name indeed!

    Go on and bear fruit despite the cost. His "well done good and faithful servant" will be worth it :)

  3. I really think the "wise as serpent" verse gets under utilized. We're afraid to be sharp and strong, sometimes. I really believe Christians battle this type of dis-empowerment because of our fear of strength-which we think will lead to us walking arrogantly away from God.

    When that Addict said, "you knew I was an addict", I wonder if he spoke with more wisdom than we do as Christians. He spoke of the reality of the addiction that is so strong in him. But we rarely speak of, and act on, the reality of the strength of Christ, the wisdom of Christ, IN US.

    It's time to be not only as wise as a serpent, but insightful, discerning, quick to see the ugly reality we deal with, and not shrink back.

    Go for it, sister!

  4. What a wonderful entry. You just started following my blog so I wanted to check yours out as well. You have such an amazing outreach to your neighborhood. I am so encouraged to see someone not be afraid to put themselves on the line for the sake of Christ. Not too many Americans do that. We are afraid of being victimized.
    My dad is a Pastor here in Oregon and there is one thing he always tells me when I get my feelings hurt by family members or friends and that is "There's no such sin as being taken advantage of." That's exactly what you're doing here, allowing yourself to be taken advantage of for the sake of Christ. I'm so excited to meet you via blogs. Thank you for following me and I look forward to reading your blogs as well. Blessings on you and your daughter :)

  5. WOW. WOW. WOW. Keep up the Awesome ministry and thanks for checking out my site. Don't be affraid to stop back by. :)

  6. linked to your post in my site.

    Keep up the good work.

  7. After ministering in Chicago my hometown and the Lord moving me to Wisconsin where ministry is more play it safe, some wonder why I miss Chicago. We expected to deal with sinners in an urban area and expected them to act like sinners not saints. Makes ministry here harder. Great blog and online ministry.

  8. Your life and your work are an inspiration for others to emulate. Thank you.

  9. I am in absolute desperation right now. I am a teacher who has been laid off. Not only that, I have been charged with a felony for taking four months of unemployment checks after becoming employed. I claimed those checks because I was trying to take care of my son and his baby and girlfriend. I thought he was going to commit suicide like his father did many years ago. I knew collecting that money was so wrong but I had to make sure my son didn't do anything desperate. When my husband was alive he and I became desperate. I worked but he had lost his job. He was from an extremely abusive home. He becaame suicidal. The short of it is he finally followed through by hanging himself. Our sons were two and four years old. So when my youngest son (at 21)made a serious suicide attempt -- the helicopters were out looking for him, the dogs and sherriffs were looking for him, we lived out in the country and he was lost in some field, very cold. He lived, we found him. God has watched over me and my sons through the darkness, I am not complaining. I took what wasn't mine to take out of desperation. I believe I did it for my son. More so, I did it so I would not have to face the pain of loss. I behaved counter to what was legal, but, I'm not sure that it was "wrong". I can't know because of the choice I made. I am 54, diabetic, have Chronic PTSD and Major Depression. I have worked very hard to overcome these conditions. I went to college, became a teacher, have been sober 23 years and have tried to live life on life's terms. But today the rain has set in and I am scared. Today I am desperate. If I have this felony on my record my career will be over. I need $7000 to please the DA who will drop my charges to a misdemeanor. If my record is cleared I can go to teach English as a Second Language in Abu Dhabi. Sounds wild. But Abu Dhabi is like a lottery ticket for me. I would be able to save enough money for the next two years to pay all of my debts since the school district there would pay my rent during my two year contract. I want to know, is there anyone out there to help? I have no resources and I want to do right. If you can help please write me at

  10. What I know about Grace is we are all sinners and we are all saints. May you chose to walk with Christ.



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