As he stepped out on land, a man of the city who had demons met him. For a long time he had worn no clothes, and he did not live in a house but in the tombs.” vs. 27Luke 8:26-31
Many of the homeless who can be seen in the streets of our cities suffer with various forms of mental illness. Some find refuge in shelters but many simply wander, looking for food and begging, and often being a nuisance to business owners. Sometimes they will seem possessed and shout at passersby. It’s hard to know how to respond to such people. We know that each of them is a beloved child of God, but they make us uncomfortable and uneasy–their situation seems hopeless. Jesus was met by such a person when making landfall on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee. We can picture the scene: a dirty, naked man shouting at the top of his lungs–and he recognizes Jesus! Jesus is neither afraid nor repulsed. Instead, he commands the unclean spirit to come out and treats the man with kindness and healing compassion. Those are the attributes that are often lacking as we deal with those struggling with mental issues. We don’t talk much about demon possession anymore, we have different labels for the same symptoms. But it remains a massive issue in our society! Even though we might want to, we can’t just close our eyes to those who are afflicted. Obviously, there are no easy answers–but doing nothing is not an option for Jesus People!
Thought for the Day: How do I respond to the homeless?