I had an opportunity to take part sharing with others in feeding homeless men. I was asked to say a few words and offer prayer for the breakfast. I was honored. Several years ago, I was one of the men in a shelter and needed others to feed me. Now, because of being blessed, I was able to give others what was given me. This is ministry. My few words letting them know I understood and shared the same story of addiction was received and came back to me in comments. I identified. They identified. I offered or became a picture of “hope”.
My goal was not in offering a picture of the hope that helped me but the picture of Christ Who desires to help us all. I’m learning to identify with Christ and hope this is what people begin to see in me as I continue along this path of clean-living. As I looked at some of the men and wondered how could I possibly help further because some of them seem, from appearances, beyond help other than receiving an occasional plate. It has brought back my own experience and how I felt beyond hope not knowing how I would be able to stand again on my own. The truth is, it took Christ. I had a miracle offered me and I accepted and I have to believe many of them have either accepted or quite as easily rejected the miracles offered them. I don’t know what the answer is for them, but it is certain I know what it has been for me.
Being there reminded me of where I came from. It is more forceful to remember this setting than the one involving my addiction. That setting had pleasure and it is easy to enjoy those memories, but the one which is sober in terms of coming to a true understanding of what I really experienced is where men are huddled together, smelly, and needing something to eat. This is what keeps the memory fresh and the desire strong never to return.
Again, do not dwell on the pleasure of the addiction but on the pain of the result.