market dark night

A few nights back Sarah got a call from a woman we have developed a friendship with who has a long history of drug abuse, and who currently lives on the street in the Tenderloin, which is a part of town known for being home to many people like her.

It was 10pm and our friend calls in need of a blanket.  She was waiting in line to get into a shelter and if she got out of line to go find warmer clothes she would lose her spot.  Ironically we had just finished leading a team during our church’s “Serve the City” day with City Impact in the same exact neighborhood, which is a 25 minute walk from our apartment.

I was exhausted from a day of work and let me just say, no amount of coffee ever makes Mondays feel better.  They are what they are.  So I was reluctant, to say the least, to go out to the sketchiest neighborhood in San Francisco to bring our friend a blanket.  But I decided to just go and get it done.

On the walk over I had to keep reminding myself that Jesus died for me and that His love should be compelling me to sacrifice my last ounce of energy to bring aid to our friend in need.  Every step was a battle and I was in a full on fist fight with God about my heart.  I felt happy and angry all at the same time which, by the way, is a very strange combination.
Homeless Lady

So I get to the street she is on and she is standing there talking to a guy and I can already see they are both high on some sort of speed.  The man introduces himself as Steve and says he is her brother.  False, I know who her family is and you sir are not related.  So I hand the bag over with a blanket, bottle of water, raisins, and some Emergen-C vitamin packets to my friend and Steve jumps right in and inspects the items.   I asked if she needed anything else and she said no so I turned to walk away.  Steve then shouted “Not so fast!  Aren’t you gonna pray for us?”

. . . Ok . . .

I asked Steve what he wanted prayer for.  He said his mom was sick and needed healing, her name is Elizabeth.  The three of us held hands and I prayed for Steve’s mom and for Steve and my friend.  After saying “Amen”, Steve yelled “Not so fast, it is my turn!”

This is when it got weird.  Steve addressed God as “the guy upstairs” and thanked “the guy” that I brought a blanket for my friend.  He then began to also confess/boast about his sins.  He said “upstairs guy, sorry that my son hates me so much because I loved my daughter more than him.  I love my daughter so much I made her my baby’s momma too.”   WHAT!?  But he kept going.  “and when my new beautiful baby granddaughter is born I will do the same to her.”

It was at this point I felt it, a spiritual heaviness and darkness that came with a person who was not only living in sin but was boasting in it.  As Steve continued to pray he began to squeeze my hand harder and harder.  I began to pray in my heart for God to deliver Steve from his possession and every time I said “in Jesus name” in my head his grip would increase.  So I squeezed back and it literally felt like a physical battle was taking place as Steve continued to pray that he hated his son, because he had come out of the closet two weeks ago.

Crazy ManFinally, after what seemed like a very long time, Steve said “Whoever you are guy upstairs the end.” and he released his grip.  I grabbed him by the shoulder and pulled him close and said “The guy upstairs has a name, and he is also your father.”  Steve then began yelling that he did not think Jesus was anything other than a person.  After he continued talking for another several minutes I resolved that Steve was too high for me to try and explain who Jesus was without him interrupting every two seconds.  So I told him I had to go and had to walk away as he continued to yell.

On my walk home I felt both sad and furious.  Sad that Steve and so many like him continue to make foolish choices and are stuck in their sin and furious that Steve would impregnate his daughter and eventually his granddaughter and think that this was ok.   Also, how is it that this guy can commit incest and than have any right to be mad at his son for being gay.  Are you serious!  I felt overwhelmed by how dark this whole situation was, and had to pray all the way home and remind myself that Jesus does have the power to break every chain of oppression.  But there is spiritual warfare going on that entraps so many.

I got home at about 12:00 AM and couldn’t sleep.  I spent the time thinking about what Jesus and those he sent out would have done.  I don’t think the poor and powerless in Israel during Jesus’ day were anything like most of today’s needy.  Heavy drug use wasn’t something Jesus had to deal with.  At what point do we as Christians need to shake the dust off our sandals and move on?  At what point do we need to be straight with a person and say “Yes, you are going to hell.”   How do we treat those who boast in their sin?

What do you think?  Please, I would really love to hear from you.  If you can, please “Favorite” this post or click the little star icon.  Also “Share” this post on your social networks by clicking the proper icons below.

Be Blessed,

Sean Trank

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About Sean Trank

My name is Sean Trank. I aspire to help those who want to succeed. I am a promoter of many things and I love making good ideas known. I also have a unique sense of humor that has been honed and shaped from having a Jewish Christian background...or maybe it is because my childhood house had lead-based paint. Ok so please explore this website .

5 responses »

  1. Sean, would you imagine the demon possessed people Jesus was called to save are somewhat similar to the drugged out addicts you come into contact with? They both have their minds and hearts possessed by a powerful force…
    Keep praying. God will guide you in the direction you need to take.

  2. Wow Sean. That is a tough one. I’m gonna think about this and pray on it. Thanks for sharing brother. God bless.

  3. Elliot Marks says:

    Intense. I felt in the moment with you when I read it! I think as believers our job is to be faithful to share the Gospel and trust God with the outcome.

  4. We should never tell someone they are going to hell. We do not know where they will end up, only God does – but we can certainly tell them if they do not repent and give their life to Yeshua they will go there with no hope for escape. We are commanded to share the gospel and if someone will not accept it, unless we feel a direct leading from God that we should continue witnessing/ministering to them, we should “shake the dust off of our feet”. Only the Holy Spirit can get through to that person, no amount of reasoning or confrontation will work. The best we can do is pray for them and help them in Yeshua’s name if they need it.

    There have been two times I’ve experienced the presence of spiritual evil. It is very thick and you won’t mistake it for anything else.

    On another note, I know someone who calls God “the man upstairs” – obviously, they don’t understand Who God is and that He is Spirit. That is something we can gently explain to them, if they are willing to listen. I get the impression from what you’ve said that this man was either possessed or demonic spirits were present, prompting him to say things that would shock and disturb you.

    I admire your dedication to serving the LORD and going out to help that woman when you felt so icky. That said, if everyone who reads this will please pray for our brother here, the man and woman he is telling us about and each other we will all be encouraged and strengthened. 🙂

  5. tabright says:

    We should never tell someone they are going to hell. We do not know where they will end up, only God does – but we can certainly tell them if they do not repent and give their life to Yeshua they will go there with no hope for escape. We are commanded to share the gospel and if someone will not accept it, unless we feel a direct leading from God that we should continue witnessing/ministering to them, we should “shake the dust off of our feet”. Only the Holy Spirit can get through to that person, no amount of reasoning or confrontation will work. The best we can do is pray for them and help them in Yeshua’s name if they need it.

    There have been two times I’ve experienced the presence of spiritual evil. It is very thick and you won’t mistake it for anything else.

    On another note, I know someone who calls God “the man upstairs” – obviously, they don’t understand Who God is and that He is Spirit. That is something we can gently explain to them, if they are willing to listen. I get the impression from what you’ve said that this man was either possessed or demonic spirits were present, prompting him to say things that would shock and disturb you.

    I admire your dedication to serving the LORD and going out to help that woman when you felt so icky. That said, if everyone who reads this will please pray for our brother here, the man and woman he is telling us about and each other we will all be encouraged and strengthened. 🙂

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