Oscar Ramirez: An infallible but unused tool

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 13, 2016

By Oscar Ramirez

Imagine someone who would use an old Underwood or Royal typewriter when a modern computer and printer was freely given to them. Or, imagine a carpenter, plumber or mechanic who has the perfect tool he needs to immediately get the job done but instead uses an inferior one that will result in much consternation, tension, lost time and possibly even the loss of life.

Moses, standing before the burning bush, was given two options by God. He was told to use the tool he was familiar with, the tool of a shepherd, the rod he held in his hand to bring freedom to God’s chosen people. Few however, realize that God was also giving Moses an infallible second tool that was guaranteed to work without fail. In Ex 4:6 we read:

“And the LORD said furthermore unto him [Moses], ‘Put now thine hand into thy bosom.’ And he put his hand into his bosom: and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous as snow. 7 And he [God] said, ‘Put thine hand into thy bosom again.’ And he put his hand into his bosom again; and plucked it out of his bosom, and, behold, it was turned again as his other flesh. 8 ‘And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe thee, neither hearken to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter sign.’ (KJV, emphasis added)

There is it, plain as day. If the first tool did not prove immediately effective, then the second tool would not fail. Now it must be understood that of all the diseases known to man, perhaps the most detestable is the disease of leprosy where the human body slowly but very visibly deteriorates until it eventually takes the life of those so afflicted.

If Moses used this infallible tool it would mean seeing this dreaded disease on his own skin again. There is no record that he ever even tried to use this infallible tool but relied instead on the less effective tool of the rod he held in his hand.

Substance abuse has become the leprosy of our society. The addicted, like the lepers of the past, become the outcasts of humanity, relegated to the outskirts and shadows of society and dependent on the discards and alms of the compassionate few to survive. These are the people whose dreadful malady gradually destroys not only the body, but reaches down and destroys the very soul of those so afflicted, bringing down social order in the process.

So it is with those who come to Capstone Recovery Center. They are the rejected and despised dredges of the world of addiction. Their presence makes those who see them mutter “unclean” under their breath.

But God has provided a highly effective and infallible tool. Just as God instructed Moses, addicts must first bring their affliction out into the light of day and see themselves as they really are, walking dead men, rotting in their malady. Having seen the horrid beings they have become, then they must thrust that dreaded hand close to the heart of The Shepherd — who alone can make it clean and whole again through the acceptance, healing, unfailing love only God can supply. That was God’s infallible plan to free Israel from bondage. Moses never used that plan, but Capstone does.

The Apostle Paul understood the power of this infallible tool.

“There was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, … And he [God] said unto me, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in [your] weakness.’ Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

The clients of Capstone are taught to allow God to turn their reproach and shattered lives into healing when they openly admit what they were — and display the healing power of God without shame. The reality of Isaiah 61 becomes evident:

“To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. 4 And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations….” That is the reward for using an unfailing tool.

Capstone Recovery Center needs help. Their roof leaks badly. They have an antiquated heating system. A leaking 50 gallon gas water heater that is just days away from failing, and a plumbing problem that requires digging up a portion of the main sewer line, all demanding immediate attention.

Capstone held a very modest fundraising event on Saturday to try to raise funds to purchase the property on which this facility is located. The event was moderately successful, helping to cover part of the expense of housing, feeding, clothing and caring for those ladies who seek comfort and healing from the bondage of addiction.

We believe our God is able to supply our needs, but perhaps He has chosen to use you as a channel of His grace. This highly successful community service is worthy of your support. Don’t allow yourself to become an infallible tool for humanity that remains unused.

Dr. Oscar Ramirez is the Director of Counseling at Capstone Recovery Center located at 418 W. Innes St. If you know of someone who needs help, would like to tour our facilities, or better yet, would like to help with our urgent needs, please call 704-749-0797.

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