“In a futile attempt to erase our past, we deprive the community of our healing gift. If we conceal our wounds out of fear and shame, our inner darkness can neither be illuminated nor become a light for others.” ― Brennan Manning, Abba’s Child
God has this crazy way of bringing the most unusual things together, all pointing to Him and His grace. He uses people from different walks of life and different places in the world and none know the other but they are shining His light in my life.
For several years I’ve been watching men battling addiction, watching the painful journey of shining a light on their pasts. For some, the pasts was the deepest darkness ever known and addiction seemed the only escape. For others, the wreckage of their past was self-made. I’ve stood before them and assured them of God’s grace, of His love that is the only true light. I’ve talked about pasts they’d rather forget but needed to face and I’ve done this without facing my own.
Mine isn’t marred by drugs or the mis-use of pain medications. My past doesn’t look too different from most Americans: parents divorced, poor decisions in my teen-age years, times where I walked away from God’s best for me. They seem trivial in the face of what some of the men have been through. And that’s added to minimizing my wounds, my fears, my shame.
A friend came along side to walk with me through this. To gently prod and ask some questions I thought there were no answers to. Questions about feelings and what I had numbed were named. It made me feel weak and what’s a good Christian girl doing feeling weak? It made me feel raw and vulnerable and ashamed of not being able to “get over it”.
“You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world.
(Matthew 5:14, The Message)”
I intruded on their weekly meeting. Again. But there they sit, in plain view as I walk past the dining room and I’m drawn to these two men. Externally, they are as different as can be. Short and tall, fair and dark. Add this blonde female to the mix and, yeah, we are those God-colors the bible talks about.
Mike and Dodd. I don’t know if Dodd is his first or last name which doesn’t matter because all I need to know is the light he shines brightly when he comes to share the message of recovery.
Mike, I know. He’s been in and out and in and out of our program and every time he’s been in he’s I’ve been drawn to his easy nature and we’ve hoped for his best seeing that something inside of him that we know is capable of more. And this time….yes, this time, Mike has taken fully hold of this light and has become, himself, a light bringing out the God-colors in our world.
I looked at the two of them yesterday and said, “I like hanging out with you two.” In our dining room on Wednesdays when they meet for their sponsor/sponsee time that I inevitably crash.
Thank you God, our loving parent who is the light inside us, a spark to share and set another light aflame. Thank you for letting us see and be part of the God-colors in our world. Help us see beyond the frame to how the colors spill out and over and can never be contained in what man has made. Let us light up the night so the darkness will be exposed and your way be made clear.