You remember Sly and the Family Stone front man if you are in the sandwich generation (sandwiched between your own children and your aging parents). But for the younger generation, Sly Stone was a soul-funk ’70s singer who took his band to fame with such music hits as “Dance to the Music,” and “Everyday People.” But the moneymaker Sly Stone had a drug problem, which has left him destitute and begging for mercy today from his homelessness.
Sly Stone is no longer “Dancing to the Music” and he is definitely one of the growing “Everyday People” in America in the current economy if you consider he is living what Spinner calls a “homeless” lifestyle.
Many Americans are living out of their vehicles — if they still have them — and have lost their permanent housing, some relegated to complete homelessness. But alas, not all of them are in that position due to drug abuse, as is Sly Stone’s case.
Stone’s arrest records include cocaine possession in 2010 and the FBI extradited him from New Jersey to Los Angeles in ’89, when Sly Stone tried to flee another drug charge. Spinner mentions a history of drug abuse, with the singer telling of one Christmas binge so bad that he blowed $2,500 on drugs during a single shopping trip meant to be spent on his son’s Christmas presents that year.
“I had about $2,500 to spend. By the time [I got] to the store, I had spent it all on drugs,’ telling his son later, ‘I spent your money up on drugs. I spent it up on dope.”
But despite the cause of his problems, the fact remains that Sly Stone and others in his condition need and want mercy from others as much as those who are suffering through no fault of their own.
Sly Stone begging for mercy
“But now please tell everybody, please, to give me a job,” Stone recently pleaded in an interview Spinner says the singer gave to the New York Post.
While Sly Stone’s music wouldn’t fit the music found in Christian circles, comparing to hitmakers such as Third Day or Jars of Clay and Newsboys tunes, that doesn’t mean the singer couldn’t find the mercy he seeks from that group of musicians rather than the ones he is calling on to “play my music,” such as Lady Gaga.
Christianity is all about showing mercy, especially to those who some might feel don’t deserve it. No one is without sin and Sly Stone’s failures — including his drug problem — isn’t beyond the hope of Christ.
On Christian radio station Moody Radio, mercy is the topic being discussed today. Jesus’ beatitudes are being explored in a way Sly Stone and others like him can appreciate and take comfort from as they navigate the failures of life and seek some hope for their tomorrows.
Sly Stone drug addiction suffering
Deep empathy and compassion are required characteristics of Christians towards those like Sly Stone who struggle with sin in their life and the hardships its consequences bring.
Unconditional love and a nonjudgmental attitude must prevail to reach those who battle such addictions as drug abuse the way Sly and the Family Stone singer face. But two things more are needed and called for in the beatitude about mercy: an ability to look at your own sins and your need for mercy from God as well as a willingness to make personal sacrifices to help another.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy,” Matthew chapter five, verse seven says.
Is there a Sly Stone situation in your family? Is someone begging you for mercy? Don’t let them lose hope by turning a deaf ear to their cry for help. Tune into Moody Radio’s Midday Connection at Noon ET and hear how you can best show mercy to a person in need based upon Jesus’ beatitudes.
Georgians can catch the Mercy show on WMBW 88.9FM Radio Station at 1p.m. today ET time or listen to the podcast later at this Moody Radio website link.