When Richard Nixon resigned and held up in isolation no one visited him for fear of sullying their reputation, no one except Chuck Colson who risked the trip many times. When asked about it later he said, “To let Mr. Nixon know that someone loved him.”
I have a bunch of drug-doing––as well as a few drug-dealing––friends. “Mercedes,” for instance, a vendor of illegal substances, has for years come and listened to us preach in the Tenderloin and sometimes even helps hand out food and clothing. She’s our friend, and I think she would say the relationship is reciprocal. “Tommy” and “Eddy” and “Sapphire” sell all manner of illicit inebriants in Golden Gate Park. Our decided disapproval of their chosen profession notwithstanding, our friendship with them is genuine and mutual.
I want these friends of mine to fully come to Jesus and find a more legitimate line of work, but until then we’re still friends. Of course, if and when they turn from their own way to turn to Jesus, our level of mutual trust and common bond would improve exponentially. That’s our hope, but in the meantime, I hope to always consider them friends.
– Originally published in Reaching Rahab: Joining God In His Quest For Friends