Tag: welcome

He sat in all humility, my guess is he wanted to disappear completely, but he had to come back. He had to try again to get this thing called recovery. He had a piece of it but it’s hard outside our walls. It’s hard to work your job, go to school and get in those recovery meetings and meet with your sponsor, the things that keep you alive. So you miss an AA meeting because your job has left you worn. Then another and another and no one is requiring a signed slip like when you were in the ARC. You don’t have a required group to attend where the tools of recovery will be reinforced. You aren’t surrounded by 99 other men and the staff supporting and pulling for you.

You’re out there. On your own.

And sometimes it’s too much.

“Welcome back”, I said as I saw him sitting in the chair outside the Intake office. He’s always a soft-spoken man and this day perhaps softer as he said, “thanks for having me back.”

Thanks for having me back? Really? As if we wouldn’t or as if we aren’t the ones grateful you chose to come back and regain order and sobriety and peace. Thank you! YOU for knowing this is a safe place.

His words have been playing in my head as I think of the times I’ve left. I know I’m the same kind of different as these men. The ones who have couch-surfed in crack houses or lost their business, their nursing license, their teaching positions; the one who have lost it all because of the disease of addiction.

We have a program too, we followers of Jesus. Because it’s hard out there. Out there where we so easily fall victim to greed and gossip, or envy and apathy. I’m only different in that my failures have been kept quiet. It’s like that for most of us. The envy, hate or whatever it is that haunts us makes us no different. Just more presentable. Not to God but to each other.

Still, God loves me. His forgiveness and grace are free and unending. His love, unconditional.

Thanks for having me back.

This is edited from the original post published in 2012.

faith grace hope recovery Salvation Army

“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 ย 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.ย Romans 11:32ย 

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

faith hope Salvation Army

Boots. Everywhere boots. And scarves. I expected the scarves. They’re a thing. But the boots, yeah, surprise. I didn’t get the memo on that one and my Chuck’s, well, just yeah.

Chucks and boots

Did I mention all I saw were the youngER faces and the long earrings? That whole birds of a feather and like attracts like thing had me feeling like my flock was flying in another place. Why did I think I could come to this?

Honest first thoughts. That’s me in new places. The whole new girl flashbacks from changing schools 13 times came flooding back as I felt lost and out-of-place. But then….

I was waiting with a few women for the doors to open Thursday night. Everyone seemed to have at least one friend with me. Except me. It’s up to me I decided so I talked first. And then she talked and then another and that’s how it happens y’all. You just start. Here’s the really crazy part, as we exchanged the basics and she asked what I did and I said I was with the Salvation Army SHE KNEW WE ARE A CHURCH! That’s big. Really big because even at all the faith-based conferences I’ve attended that may have only happened once. Or not at all I’m not really sure because I’ve been to a lot. Her response to me was “Oh, my husband was with that church. It’s the church he grew up in.” WHAT? Bless her.

Allume flowers

But Wait…..there’s more

The thing at Allume is you don’t sit at the same table with the same people at meals and being alone and all that was good with me. So here I am at the table doing that talking thing again when another said, “And what do you do?” And (you see it coming don’t you) she said, “I LOVE the Salvation Army” and turns out we know some of the same people and she’s with Christian Leadership Alliance who I appreciate and have attended their conferences. And we both love Haiti and Jesus and that was really the thing here. We love Jesus and people. His people who are all people.


Allume team pics

Love First pic

Still more…..

This little lady with a huge heart and smile took the stage and Logan just made my heart smile with hers and somewhere in the boots and scarves I was welcomed and knew I belonged. Here. Among the young mommies and sales reps and retired women and photographers and the ones still trying to figure it out (aren’t we all?) I felt welcome in the kind of way that says you belong. Right here. Right now.