I have seen some amazing and unusual things in my life, and I am sure we could share some stories for many hours. Anyone who has seen a sunrise or sunset at a beach, or gazed out from a mountain peak at miles and miles of natural beauty, or seen the majesty of a tiger or gazelle sprinting at high speed, been present in a natural childbirth, or even been on 285 when there is absolutely no traffic (usually in snow), can appreciate the rare occurrence that can happen where you are just left speechless.
While riding home here in Loxley (not Robin Hood's home, but Alabama), there are stretches of woods where deer, armadillo, rabbits, foxes, raccoons, and assorted other animals parallel the road in their travels or actually try to run out in front of you. It is dark at night, real dark with few lights, so I always drive the last few desolate miles in caution. Then there is a bridge over the lake where there have actually been deer trotting across, so there too I remain cautious though one would never suspect a bridge to attract wildlife.
Now remember, our ministry is Across The Bridge. So often I think of the symbolism as I cross this bridge, thinking anyone or any animal can also get to the other side of the road and life itself. So last night shortly before a late night at work, I again cross that bridge to go home and see off in the distance something strange moving from right to left in the middle of that bridge, and as I get closer, I see it clearly then stop in amazement!
An ALLIGATOR is crossing from the woods to the water. And after a few stunning moments sitting there I think, an alligator in Alabama, coming from the woods to the water and it hits me........what is that gator doing in the woods it's supposed to be in the water, and did it get lost from its Florida home? And further, what a joy it is to live here in the middle of Wild Kingdom where anything can happen!
Then it really hit me......anyone can cross the bridge from death to life, addiction to resurrection, the woods of shame to the living water, all of this I am thinking while parked and still stunned by that gator's presence!
God does that, he sends us some often very weird signs that make us think. And, if we are thinking about Him, they always translate into a message for us. If I was drinking no telling what I might have thought, pink elephant, hallucinating, but I wasn't and it was because a loving, forgiving and amazing God set me on a path of recovery across the bridge from darkness to light.
Like that gator I may have looked a little unusual to the church folk when I was crossing, but hallelujah I made it to the water!
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.