I know at times I admit that I get frustrated with people who seem to stop living and ultimately quit with life. We have gone downtown during the summer every week to hand out cold bottled water. Seldom do I ever see the same person and only once has someone actually called me to follow through. Much in the same sense this last week I was around a couple of different individuals who gave up on living. I can’t fathom want it would be like to want to take your own life but on the same weekend I was around people who were at the end of their ropes.
I understand in my own life the sense of having too much to do, little time and little resources. I have gotten involved with being my dad’s caretaker and it pushes me to my limits. I assume too much, have to be the ‘bad guy’ at times and then there is always something that needs to be done.
I had never met Ricardo until last Wednesday when he went to the pool with a group from New City/Barrio Nuevo. I had been told by a few that he had just been beaten up and needed some help and maybe even a place to stay. We talked a little bit and he didn’t seem to far out but then who can tell a person’s real heart.
We went out for dinner with some great friends on Friday night at an Ethiopian Restaurant. I got a few calls from one of my kids and finally got the message that Ricardo was in the hospital. So I called and got the impression that he wasn’t there or he had a different name. After I realized that he was in the Behavioral Unit I got through. We talked a little. It ended up that a group of us went to see him on Sunday night after church. We were fortunate to be allowed to have a group of 8 visit with him, especially when most of them were minors.
I talked a little with him by himself and shared the gospel and asked his permission to talk more and bring some of the kids in to see him. He seemed like he was doing better but obviously had just attempted to overdose on meds a few days ago. We went by his apartment that night only to discover that someone had kicked down his door and ransacked his place.
I returned the following day to bring him his clean clothes, a Bible and a couple of books to read. We talked a little and I again prayed with him to help him get his focus on God. Now he is in a waiting pattern until the Hospital decides the best treatment.
We do live in a broken world where many are out to harm those who are different or that they just don’t like the way you look. I am learning that God values all life, especially those of the forgotten, orphan and widow. As I finished an e-mail to a friend that I had to cancel lunch he said, “Yeap, it is always one thing after another!”