He’s had a pretty tough deal. I guess life has kicked him around a little bit. Some because of poor choices and some because...well, life just kicks us around a little bit. Sometimes, it costs us everything we have. I think he would tell you that he lost it all. And I can tell just by talking to him that it’s been difficult. Painfully difficult.
But what is really cool is getting to watch people on the rebound. You know that moment when you start to realize, “Hey this dude got kicked and kicked and I am seeing him get back up right in front of my own eyes.” I like being a part of that.
I met him for the first time when he wandered inside at the Light one Sunday. Big guy. Nice guy. I had no idea who he was. Over the next few weeks, I would get to see inside his soul a little bit. He was always very transparent about his past, where he had been and what he had done. I appreciate that about people. I think it reveals God’s Spirit working.
He’s not a little guy by any means, but what I saw was Zaccheus. You remember, the little tax collector guy that climbed up in a tree to see Jesus. The song probably rings a bell. “Zaccheus was a wee little man and a wee little man was he.” Yes, my wandering friend was up in the sycamore tree. He was seeking Jesus. He was seeking transformation. I could hear it in his voice the first time I met him.
God really is amazing. He delivers in our moments of desperation. He answers when we knock. He reveals when we seek. I’ve seen it countless times. Jesus called my new friend down from that tree. Said, “I am coming to your house today.” He came down from that tree and found a job. He found support in his new family at the Light. He found a group of guys that embraced him, helped him figure out what he is becoming...not what he has been. One by one, the pieces started coming back together. That’s been really fun to watch for me. Super encouraging.
There was a time in my life that I would have stayed away from someone battling a drug addiction. Maybe because of fear, maybe just being judgmental, a lack of concern, even a lack of faith. Interesting...I may not ever deal with drug addiction in my own life, but I have plenty of my own failures. I am grateful God transformed that in me. I pray He continues to do His work where He sees I need it.
I thought it was really cool to see my new brother serving at House of the Harvest Saturday morning. I thought it was even more cool to see his daughter there with him. God is even more amazing than we realize. He can restore relationships that have been broken. I’ve seen Him do it firsthand.
I don’t think there is any greater joy I have experienced in life than to see God at work. I love to be a part of it. But to be a part of it, I have learned, I have to be willing to go where the messes are. I think Jesus taught us that when He ate with sinners, when He called a bunch of rough neck fisherman to be His disciples, and when He called Zaccheus down from that tree. The answer isn’t in separation, but in transformation. Transformation requires relationship. Touching and being touched. He taught us that when He let “that kind of woman” touch His feet.
I’m excited to watch what the Spirit is doing in my brother. And in His daughter. I am excited to watch what He is doing in me. And you...
“The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” John 3:8