Which lies do you believe?

The men come to us wearing the truth of addiction. Its stench is a life rotting away from the denial they are caught in its grip. Their faces gaunt, their eyes flat, their hearts hollowed from its lies. For too many food, rest, and a hot shower will cover addictions truth: it comes to destroy. They will, again, believe the lie they can do this on their own. That lie...

When we are poured out and empty

Her eyes rimmed red as tears began to form. He sat in silence, empty of feeling having poured them out. Again. It was quiet in Jenny’s office as we sat with our feelings, our pain. Another fatal overdose. Another life lost. Another friend, son, brother, gone. He was 28. These times when we’ve poured ourselves out, when we feel empty of caring, these are the times we question: Is this...

When have you had enough?

Enough is enough. His words were heavy with conviction as he spoke to the room filled with 100+ people. Most were men, like him, addicts and alcoholics. It was a night of celebrating sobriety. One month, two, a year, 5 years and more. We’d celebrate program completions and we would share with cheers, encouragement and words of caution. Mark was the resident manager. He lived upstairs in a private room...

Is your craving lying to you?

I’m more likely to crave those tortilla chips than chocolate. You know, the blue ones that aren’t overly salted and a tad thinner than the ‘other’ ones? Yes, I’ll choose those any day over chocolate. Even Dove (seriously, Hershey doesn’t compare!) I remember hearing about the odd cravings pregnant women would have but I never had any nor did my friends. Sure, we enjoyed in more indulgences and blamed that...

Jesus Isn’t Just for Church People

It’s a bit complicated to describe our congregation. Some would say they’re a captive audience. While that description makes me flinch, it’s not all wrong. The residents in this six-month rehabilitation program are required to attend our Sunday service. A spiritual component is part of their recovery along with individual and group counseling, recreation, and work. We have a congregation of all men. Most of them are addicts. Their church...

On this beautiful summer day, I will not lose hope

I suppose summer isn’t the time to talk of the hollowness of grief. These are the days of long sunshine inviting us to play a little longer. These are the times of family reunions and seeing new places. These are not the days to be met with grief. But grief doesn’t wait for an invitation. Alia Joy’s words met me early this morning. They stirred the grief I thought had been...

Ordinary Heroes {we're surrounded}

This week my series on people has been about people who are ordinary heroes. People who are living their ordinary lives in extraordinary ways. Bearing grief on a daily basis. Battling the disease of addiction and winning one day at a time. Keeping a marriage together. Choosing change over comfort. It’s easy to be disgusted at people today. Listen to the news, click on Facebook, read the newspaper and we...

Ordinary Heroes

If your town is like ours, you’ve seen them. They’re often standing on the edge of busy intersections holding cardboard signs. Or lingering in front of convenience stores asking for spare change. They are usually wearing filthy clothes. Sometimes they are sleeping on a bus bench. They don’t look like the heroes they can become. I wish I could show you the comparison photo’s. The face shots taken the first...