Five-Minute Friday {welcome}

“Welcome. We’re glad you’re here. Not of the reason you’re here, but you’ve come to the right place.”

He said these words every week, every Sunday. He stood at the front of the small chapel, had every new man who had checked in that week stand and give their name and where they were from. Then he said the same words, week after week and every time, the words were true.

“We’re glad you’re here.”

There is little else we need to know about these men. We know enough. People don’t come to us because life is good. They come when our doors are the only ones that say, “Welcome”.

Ft. Lauderdale ARC

When I think about our task, the one that has our arms outstretched to others who’ve been turned away, when I think about that, I am overwhelmed. I know us. We’re ordinary folks. We are imperfect. We make mistakes. A lot of mistakes. We aren’t always kind in our tone and at times we have to say hard things. And I know, without a doubt, it is only God’s strength and grace that gets us through. It is only his mercy on us that extends to others sharing our need.

Alumni Sunday

 

12 Traditions play

What I know is that we’ve all stood in a place where we needed the arms of Jesus to spread wide and say, “Welcome.” Not once, but over and over he is calling that quiet welcome of peace  that will satisfy, that will calm our fears and ease our pain.

In one way or another, God makes sure that we all experience what it means to be outside so that he can personally open the door and welcome us back in. Romans 11:32 

Linking up with Five-Minute Friday hosted by Kate Motaung. Join the word party.

More about Debby Hudson

Where do you find grace? Inside the church walls? Around the dinner table with your family? For years, grace was not much more than the prayer we said before meals or a biblical concept. Then I met a group of men who had, as we say, reached bottom. They welcomed me to Graceland. They showing me grace can be found in the darkest of places. I'm still searching and learning. I hope you'll want to come along.

Comments

  1. Reply

    Lovely. Happy New Year. Rosanne

    1. Reply

      Thank you Rosanne. Happy New Year to you too!

  2. Reply

    Oh WOW Debby !! Your last paragraph got me. I am so thankful for all the time He welcomed me into His arms. I pray that I learn to always pass that same loving welcome on to others.

    1. Reply

      Me too, Amy, I’m so thankful he stands watch for me in all of my wanderings, waiting to welcome me back.(This word prompt took me a bit. Sounded easy, didn’t come too quickly though.)

  3. Reply

    A perfect verse…thank you Lord that You are IN us – You never leave or forsake. Even when we don’t feel You near – You are! Let these men feel Your presence and love in a new way each day!

    1. Reply

      That’s something I need to work on. At least with the words and not praying for God to come when he is here, in us. Yes, I pray they will feel his presence in a way that marks their life for Him. Thank you sweet sister.

  4. Reply

    I love that we are always welcome to turn back to him! Great post and have a great week!

    1. Reply

      I’m sure I’ve worn out that welcome sign, Amanda. All those little wanderings I’m prone to do, but He never fails to be the welcome. Thank you for your encouragement.

  5. Reply

    Exactly! And, how much people need us to simply say, “Welcome.” No lectures or judgment or anything but welcome.

    1. Reply

      True, Annie. I’ve found that’s easier to do with people I don’t know than with family 🙁 Something I’m working on.

  6. Reply

    Beautiful words describing a beautiful ministry. Open arms of welcome can be a turning point.

    1. Reply

      Cheryl, thank you for those words. Yes, I guess that one simple word can be a big catalyst. I pray that is so for those who come through our doors. Know you are welcome here!

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