Soon after Mark and I started chatting between the garbage can and the liquor store, he was telling me that he grew up in Los Altos, but spent “a long time in the mental health system”. He was telling me that even after all the years of mental therapy and drugs, he still suffered. He said he had friends who were worse off: still institutionalized and taking a dozen psych drugs at once. He said he was “only taking three” currently. He said he once took some Psych classes at SFSU but they did not help; they only confused him more. He was concerned for his friends.
So I took the leap and brought up the possibility that maybe one thing that is really bothering people is guilt, the fear of death, the conscience knowing that there is a God who created the universe and them, & the knowledge that there is accountability to the holy God. Mark agreed with that possibility, and then we talked about our sin against God and what exactly sin is. We talked about that for a while. Then I gave him the courtroom analogy; telling Him exactly Who Jesus Christ is and what He did for us, taking our condemnation, standing in place of us guilty ones before the just Judge, taking the sentence, taking the punishment, satisfying God’s justice, clearing our sin/guilt record, saving us from sin and death. I told him that is how we get forgiveness: by repentance and faith in Christ. Next time I see him hanging out there, I hope to chat with him more and give him a gospel.
“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls.” Matt.7:28-29.