The first type of soil mentioned in the parable of the sower is the soil of the hardened path. Jesus explains that these are people who do not understand the word “then the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown on the path.”
There is no condemnation in the language used to describe the lack of understanding. The path has been hardened by many feet stepping on it. It seems to be the image of people so oppressed that the message of hope cannot sink in. Stepped on and victimized by the evil one, the message a God of love doesn’t germinate at all.
What can we do for people like this?
The first thing to do is to stop stepping on them. Stop the oppression. There is an innate ability to heal that needs time to work.
Healing can come from within if the mind has not been broken. I’ve seen some homeless who seem to have lost their will, given up on hope and cannot understand when people are genuinely trying to help them. I do not have the answers for them, but I refuse to step on them even more than they have been.