I’ve missed many days and have much ground to cover. The summary is that I’ve taken a job in Central Texas and am spending my first week in a new place where I know no one. It is a lonely existence for a guy who usually doesn’t suffer from loneliness. Maybe it’s just knowing my friends and family were close and now I am in a foreign land alone. Anyhoo…
Last night I decided to go to church on a Wednesday for the first time in a year. Honestly, I believe the Holy Spirit said “we’re going to church tonight” and I just followed. I showed up knowing no one and wondering what it would be like. A nice gentleman greeted me when I walked in, told me about the 1 Corinthians class (looked like the median age would be 70), a marriage class (maybe someday) and a class for people involved in a addiction rehab treatment. Well that peaked my interest for sure.
Over the past few years, I’ve developed a heart for the homeless and for people who keep getting run over by problems they can’t control and don’t know how to deal with it. The addicts certainly fall in that category. I know enough about turning to the wrong things to ease your pain to understand how hard it can be for lots of people. So, I approached the class with a little trepidation and great interest.
Wow! I didn’t know I was entering a room with people who would speak deeply into my heart, who would bring tears to my eyes, who would encourage me so much. There were probably 50 or more people there, coming to a place where (in their own words) they have felt loved and accepted like no place else.
Avery looks to be in her early 50’s but could be younger. She’s been addicted for years and in and out of prison numerous times. She’s completed the rehab program, living in an apartment on her own and loving God. The teacher played Chris Tomlin’s Amazing Grace and you could see the truth of it on her face. To listen to her talk about grace blew me away and I knew I was in the midst of a spiritual giant. To here her talk about finally spending a Thanksgiving with her family because they are letting her back into their life now that she is clean is a story of grace and mercy that pierces the heart.
Megan finishes the program next Tuesday and will move away. She also looks older than her years, streetwise and her words convey very hard years and huge mistakes. She also talks about grace and how the Holy Spirit speaks to her and does it in ways that make you forget anything else is happening and all you can see and hear is Megan and her love for God.
Bobby looks to be late 20’s/early 30’s. He’s hard and tattoo’d but his words make me want to crumble. My job is taking me away from my son and our Thursday night ritual. I may miss a few baseball games. It is KILLING me. My stomach is in knots every time I think of the days I may not get to see him I normally would. Bobby hasn’t seen his kids in 3 years. CPS took them and he doesn’t know where they are. He is hurting. He wants to get his life on track and he wants to see his kids. Oh Lord, remind me of Bobby often so I will pray over him and his recovery and I will remember the blessings I do have.
I sat in a room of addicts last night and prayed that I will one day have their faith and their knowledge of God’s word. Even more, I prayed I would have their faith in God’s grace for my life. They are spiritual giants and the Holy Spirit led me into their presence to hear Good News I needed to be reminded of last night.
Grace and peace.