“Here I am, standing at the door knocking." ~ Revelation 3:20
From behind, it could be her. But when the young woman dressed in filthy, time-worn clothing doubled over from the cough that seemed to be getting worse with every passing day, he knew.
The daughter of a local businessman - sold heroin, stole electronics, and ran from a myriad of abusive relationships. At night she slept in abandoned buildings and begged for spare change during the day.
“Jesse?” he spoke somberly. “It’s me … Dad.”
“Leave me alone,” Jesse replied. Now her father stood before her, offering what he’d proffered from the day she was born - a chance at a better life.
“But, Jess, why do you insist on living such a hazardous lifestyle,” he questioned. I worry about what your addiction is doing to your health … physically and mentally.”
She heard the pain in his voice. Yet she stubbornly shook her head. “I didn’t ask for your help,” she repeated. “I like the way things are!” silently confessing a battle not to lose hope.
“But just last week,” he reminded, “you complained about going to sleep hungry; about how miserable life can be in the rain.”
Jesse paused considering those points. True, life on the streets could get depressing. But this was the only life she knew! She’d rather complain even while ignoring the solution that awaited her.
“I can’t change, Father,” Jesse said in a voice barely above a whisper. “I’m too set in my ways. Its hopeless! I tried several times, but I keep coming back to the streets. I just can’t help it!”
“Oh, but you can!” he pleaded. “I’ll help you! Come live with me. I promise you a better, healthier and more productive life,” extending his hand; inviting her to join him.
Jesse shook her head. “I just can’t,” she repeated, her spirit broken.
“You can’t, or won’t?” The question always haunted her; she made no reply. Jesse simply turned and walked away. With the eyes that could cry no more, she gazed out at the street where people hustled to make their living and she worried that her light had gone out.
Her Father forced back the tears as He watched her disappear. He’d return again tomorrow and every day after that. Maybe someday she’d be ready to accept His love. He’ll never give up!
Sometimes life can feel like a landslide; when you feel like can no longer hold it together.
People can change, but we can’t change ourselves any more than a drowning person can save him or her self. We need help, encouragement, a healthier vision.
The problem - not the answer - lies within. The heart of the problem is the problem of the heart. Even so, God can change our hearts from the inside. His door is always open.