Imagine this, twelve years ago you were living on the streets. The only way you got to eat was scavenging in a smelly dumpster or from the kindness of strangers. Life had hit you hard, especially when your mom died.
She had adopted you as a young child, and was all you had. Unable to cope, you began walking and didn’t stop. The main source of love in your life…gone.
Under a bridge, you met a small group from a nearby church. They fed you a balanced meal. A few sat and talked to you. They did their best to meet your physical and spiritual needs. It was a love you don’t remember feeling for a long time.
One day you decide this life has gone on too long. Walking into a recruiting office, you sign up and join the military. You go from alone on the streets to a family of sorts. Years pass by.
Then today you decide to walk into the church that cared for you over a decade ago. Again, you volunteer. This time to help those in the position you were in. The circle is complete.
The same day, another guy walks in, hungry. While eating, a volunteer sits and talks to him. He tells the guy who had just brought him a plate of food that he’s been on the street for two months. He had went from a $45,000 a year job to spiraling into a life of drug use. Desperate, he quit the job that was feeding his habit.
Clean now, he’s working his way back up. Right now, he says, he has a job in a kitchen and an interview for a second job next week. He tells the volunteer that he’ll be out of the shelter soon.
He’s been having to eat a lot of humble pie. Earlier he had met an old neighbor, a lady that grew up in the same neighborhood. He was to ashamed to even say anything.
The volunteer gives him a list of places he can go for help, places that will feed him, shelter him, and Celebrate Recovery at his church. Whatever he can do to keep the guy on his forward progress.
They part ways. One, who at one time makes more money than the volunteer makes now, quietly going to see what donated clothes will fit him.
Their stories aren’t complete. In them are lessons for us all. This was one Saturday morning for me awhile back. Both stories are true and carry these lessons in particular:
Work hard to get out of your situation.
It is possible, these guys are a testimony to it.