The Simple and Those Who have Been Led Astray
I have a collection of verses I call "Grace Notes." Here's one I found today.
"And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin offering, and put it upon the posts of the house, and upon the four corners of the settle of the altar, and upon the posts of the gate of the inner court. This you shall do for those who have been led astray and the simple: you shall make atonement for their house" (Ezekiel 45:19,20).
I think of friends who struggle with addictions, who have been terribly damaged in their youth, who are mentally or emotionally challenged, who sincerely want to do the right thing, but fail again and again. God knows.
C.S. Lewis wrote, "If you are a poor creature—poisoned by a wretched upbringing in some house full of vulgar jealousies and senseless quarrels—saddled, by no choice of your own, with some loathsome sexual perversion—nagged day in and day out by an inferiority complex that makes you snap at your best friends—do not despair. He knows all about it. You are one of the poor whom He blessed. He knows what a wretched machine you are trying to drive. Keep on. Do what you can. One day (perhaps in another world, but perhaps far sooner than that) He will fling it on the scrap-heap and give you a new one. And then you may astonish us all—not least yourself: for you have learned your driving in a hard school. (Some of the last will be first and some of the first will be last)" (C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity p. 214-215).