Sunday was a great day. It was a day full of surprises, excitement, hopefulness, encouragement, and rejoicing. Sunday was a day to remember.
You see, since the spring of 2014 we have been closely walking with a man in his 20s who struggled with a severe heroin addiction. Throughout our time together we were able to provide him with housing, medical assistance, financial budgeting and loans, steady counseling, transportation, employment… and pretty much anything else you can think of. Even after failing over and over again, we chose to show him grace (but trust me, this was not always our first choice).
Eventually, things got to a point where we did not have any other healthy options to offer him. He had been given many chances- from jobs, to housing, to failed drug tests- he had run through them all and we were at our ropes end. We realized that at that point he needed much more intensive 24-hour care than we could give him. So now he was left with a choice. He could either choose to admit himself into at least a 3 month recovery program, having us walk with him during that time, and continue to move forward with him upon completion of the program or he could choose to completely part ways with us. Of course, the latter is what none of us wanted, but it was the only way to help him see that a drastic change had to be made in his life.
Over the next couple of weeks, we saw everything take a dramatic shift in this man’s life. He went from having a fairly stable life to having the walls of that life come crashing down around him. Overtime he saw the necessity that was for a guy like himself, and became willing and wanting to get into a program. With the help of our ministry partners, we were able to get in touch with a great rehab program in town and after just one week, he was in. For the first month he was in, he was visited by a number of people and we were encouraged by the progress he had already made and the direction he seemed to be heading.
But then this past Sunday happened. As we drove into the Terracon parking like we do every single week, we saw him standing to the side with a few of our volunteers. Needless to say, we were all holding our breath waiting to figure out why exactly he was here. The first thought that came to my mind was- he’s been kicked out. But man was I wrong!
For the rest of the afternoon we were able to hear stories of confession, repentance, asking for forgiveness, and thankfulness for what all had been done for him this past year. He talked about having a relationship with Jesus and spending time with other believers. All of this coming from a man who just a few months ago made the comment: “I’m just an addict and that is never going to change.”
Sometimes it’s easy to get going in our normal routine and forget that we serve a God who is anything but normal.