This is a blog about two special people. One was homeless about a half mile from us at ATB, the other we found wandering in a meth induced psychosis in Lawrenceville just a couple miles away from us. You may not be running into folks like this but this is happily the norm for us.
We will call the homeless person Fred to protect his anonymity. I ran into him several times on the ramp on 316, and later in a ride-a-along with the Lawrenceville PD in the woods. He came to some of our meetings, came to church on Sunday and we fed him on Thanksgiving. He told me his story but never acted like a victim, just got gut level honest about his situation and his addiction. We got him into sober living and out of the woods - for two weeks now.
The second wanderer, let's call her Mary, was in and out of mental health/addiction centers for the last couple months. It seemed hopeless. While the police officer (same one from Fred's situation) who I was with when we tried to help her was in my office I received a call from her that sounded like a completely different person. Imagine that timing, it was certainly a God moment. Tonight she is picking up her 30 day clean and sober chip, and she has re-united with her family..
Obviously these two have something in common, but there are some things beyond what seems to be which is a key. Neither played a victim, when offered help they eventually accepted it. Neither one asked us for anything monetarily they just wanted healing, and they can't stop thanking us for helping. In fact, they just wanted someone to see them as relevant.
In John 5, Jesus tells a story of a man crippled for 38 years, of whom he asked a simple question, Do you want to get well? At first he played the victim, but Jesus helped him anyway. He was Homeless & Helpless and Jesus gave him what he needed, healing. So were Fred & Mary, only their story required us to represent Jesus, just like that bracelet says, W.W. J. D., in the way that he works through his followers.
So we just asked those questions and responded. It's also good to have one of Lawrenceville's finest with you when you do because they kind of have the same mindset, to protect and serve.
It's utterly amazing how simple it is to understand the mission Jesus sent us on: to go to heaven and take as many people as we can with us. Especially the Homeless & Helpless!
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.