Every now and then there's a tug on my conscience that humbles me and causes me to remember things about my past. Not that it would be one of glorification, or one of fantasy, but of sobriety. There are a significant amount of relationships I once had with people who are part of the recovery movement. You can call it Narcotics or Alcoholics Anonymous (NA and AA) or you can call it 12-step groups. Either way, I knew and still know a good number of individuals who are in what's known as "Recovery."
When I was redeemed by the blood of Christ in July of 2004, I was not yet able to stand on my two feet as a man. Worse yet, I barely qualified as human in many respects. When this part of my life is discussed with peers and people I associate with now, they just say good job, or well done. You have a good life so now everything is alright has become the adage. However, what they don't seem to hear when they hear my words, is the grace of the Christ. In the intermediary time spent transitioning from dope fiend to human being, there was not much discipleship occurring. My discipleship was spent soaking up the philosophies of Narcotics Anonymous. As well as I see many do embracing these steps and ideals, they are being saturated with humanism that has long washed itself of the truth and redemption of God found in Jesus Christ.
The relationships I had break my heart and I long to return to my people. Yes, my people. Many of them remember what it's like to be forgotten, swept under the rug, and written off as useless members of our society. They too will admit that they were exactly that. But, they still face that demon on a regular basis and end up owning a persona that causes insecurities, shallow perceptions of relationships, discontent and disinterest in God, and most of all, social anxieties that separate them (us) from others when we are in a room full of people who love us.
I am familiar with their pain, and it is an intimate pain that I wish I could say has been lifted. But today it stands as a thorn in my flesh and reminds me daily of what I was actually delivered from the moment I realized the full payment for my sin could be found in Jesus Christ. Oh how great is our Lord on High? I know this call, these thoughts, this thorn is for good reason. It is to remind me that there is a mission field I was placed in and I have shirked this duty for a long time. Smoke filled meeting halls, cussing street people, and manic depressed recovering addicts can finally recover once and for all.
Problem is, there is not many people in those smoked filled rooms telling them who the real Jesus is. I think I'm going to make me a meeting tomorrow night. RU Anonymous? When's the last time you shared the gospel with that dope fiend who just asked you for a quarter? I used to be him. I never heard from you. Maybe the next one will?
Mat 11:28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.