"When everything's made to be broken, I just want you to know who I am"
These words are from a Goo Goo Dolls song Iris in 1998. But they apply to one of the key reasons it is so important that we continue to give to the downtrodden, the outcasts, the marginal of society including sometimes hopeless addicts and alcoholics. They just want you to know who they are, despite everything being broken in their lives.
That is a major reason why ATB exists and so many others who are in a similar role as an organization - we understand what these folks need to begin a new journey that may change their lives. They need someone to talk to, they need some attention, they need a spark that lights the fire to come out of darkness. And once they understand the authenticity of why we give, many begin to listen to a message of hope.
They need someone to know their story, to know who they are, and now they need someone to point them in the right direction. Further in the song are these words. "Yeah you bleed just to know you're alive". So we give, and often it requires sacrifice and often we see no appreciation, but every now and then folks show it and it makes us realize that we were glad we bled, for their sake, it made us both feel alive. And, when they make it to a year clean, we rejoice and feel like if we only reach one in ten, it's worth it.
Someone else bled for us, but before he did he gave a gift of healing to 10 lepers, and only one came back to thank him. In fact, he was not only an outcast as a leper, he was a hated Samaritan. But I guarantee you Jesus was pumped, he felt alive in his purpose because he knew what knuckleheads we are, and he just converted someone who was in darkness.
Giving for sure is living, it is the purpose God intended for us to have as demonstrated by the greatest, Jesus. And even the greatest ignored the nine who seemed unappreciative, to go on for the one who was. This is a blog, but it could easily be a sermon.
I was that one, that's why I know, and now all I do is what he did for me in whatever manner he asks me to. That's why I really know I am truly alive!
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.