Redemption Stories {Lettie}

Some personalities are hard to capture in words. Lettie is one of those. She was a force. I never knew her age but somewhere in her 60’s when we met her she was as energetic as ones half her age. Her days were largely spent helping others. She seemed to know just the right time to drop off flowers to someone feeling especially lonely that day. Lettie was one of...

They don’t look like addicts {Redemption Stories}

When we were kids there was the boogie man. I wasn’t sure what he looked like but I knew it was scary. Left to my imagination, he would have been shrouded in dark shadows, hunched over with a wicked smile. Maybe a little like Ebenezer Scrooge. For years I thought addicts looked like dead-eyed men, swaying on their feet in front of convenience stores asking for change. Their clothes were...

Redemption Stories {Randall}

Randall comes from a line of artists. His grandfather designed Dugan glass, his oldest son teaches art at a university in the midwest and he is a floral designer. He also curates our silent art auctions, decorates our facility for every holiday including 7 Christmas trees, the Advent table and every holiday in between. Randall is my right hand. He’s also an alcoholic. It wasn’t Randall’s decision to walk through...

Recovery High {Redemption Stories}

Sean looked tired yesterday morning as he sat in his spot in the chapel. We are such creatures of habit. We sit in the same place while we are trying to build new habits into our lives. It was early. The chapel was almost empty. I walked over to give him a hug and ask if he was tired and he mouthed “bad day”. There are some things that happen...

Celebrate {Redemption Stories}

Old ways won’t work anymore. New ways are taught and shown. Having fun in recovery is as important as any other aspect. Whether you’re recovering from addiction, alcoholism or the wrongs you can never get right, tt’s about living this life the rest of our life. So we celebrate. Every day is a celebration of God’s redemption. We are part of His story. SaveSave...

Rescued and Redeemed

I saw his grizzled face, breadcrumbs around his dry mouth, as he offered a smile that looked genuinely happy to see me. I returned the smile that probably showed more concern than joy. He didn’t look well, not like the last time I saw him. He was much thinner, unkempt, but his eyes eager to be seen, to be welcomed ‘home’. He’s not the only one I’ve seen worse for...

Redemption in skin and bones

Redemption was just a word to me before we became part of this community. It was one-dimensional, it was theology, a belief but not one made of skin and bones. I suppose that’s a byproduct of growing up in the church and hearing things without seeing them. Or maybe they were in front of me but I needed someone to say, “Look – that’s redemption!”   When we have a...

We are the fellowship of the broken

The two men taking up our Sunday offering aren’t elders or deacons. They aren’t pastors or teachers. One of them probably doesn’t know the bible is divided into Old and New Testaments. He is the young one. The other man is at the tail end of the baby boom generation. John’s shirt sleeves are rolled up revealing his tattooed forearm. They move up and down the aisles passing the plate,...

Heading West {Clint}

When Clint told us he and another graduate were heading west to Las Vegas we didn’t think it was a good idea. This wasn’t Clint’s, or his friend’s, first program. To the staff, they were babies in recovery. They would be leaving their support group. They tried to assure us by telling us that family had a guaranteed job waiting for them. We shook our heads and wished them well....

Redemption stories {Danny}

Danny is the best kitchen supervisor we’ve had. He leads with an even temperament even as he speaks correction when needed. He prepares for the smallest of details putting the needs of the residents above his own. Danny and his family were under evacuation orders when hurricane Irma headed in our direction. We were planning to evacuate the men and he volunteered to come along if we’d allow him to...