Moments of clarity…

I have often heard others speak of having unique, often bone-jarring, moments of clarity in rare and specific situations in their life. Moments where one is presented with a situation or circumstance that brings into extreme focus that which both energizes and drives you. Moments where everything about a conversation and situation specifically aligns with your passion and energy.

Three weeks ago I had a moment just like that. A moment where I walked away saying, “Lord God – thank you for that incredible moment…a moment where you totally reminded me of who you really are, and what your heart really looks like.”

I had just left walking some new individuals  through our recovery ministry, new member orientation guidelines and commitment form.  I had finished up a bit early, about 7:40pm, and proceeded to walk down the Main street walkway inside Thomas Road Baptist Church towards the parking lot.
As I made my way past the cafe, with my head down and my steps echoing off the concrete painted floor, I was approached by a short, middle aged man who asked:

“Excuse me, do you work here? I am trying to find Freedom Groups orientation and I’m afraid I am too late.”

I replied that Freedom Groups runs from 6-8pm and that he, unfortunately, had just missed it. I then handed him one of our brochures and encouraged him to please come back the following week. I also said if he needed immediate help that he could contact the Pastoral counseling staff listed on the back.

It was at this point that he began to weep and pour out his story of co-dependency, self loathing, and desperation.
I quickly followed my gut feeling, and what I believe was the Holy Spirit’s leading, in that what he really needed right now was someone who would just listen to him….and HEAR him.

I leaned forward and intently listened to him as he poured out additional details of his situation.
In the midst of his story we came to a point where he again, broke down in tears and said, “I can’t keep doing this, it’s killing me inside! Why can’t I just stop? I can’t keep trying to help this other person as its destroying me in the process! I’m so desperate…so desperate…can you help me?”

I put my hand on his shoulder, looked him in the eye and said, “Brother…maybe it’s time for you to stop focusing on others for a bit and instead focus on yourself right now. We can help you do that.”

He replied, “But I’m supposed to love others and serve them out of love….that’s what everybody is telling me…”

I squeezed his shoulder and said, “…brother…you can’t love others in the capacity 
God intended until you love yourself first….and I get the feeling that you don’t love yourself very much right now. God wants you to serve but He wants you to be spiritually and emotionally healthy first…”

He looked up at me with tears still running down his cheeks and said,“No one has really told me that before….it almost sounds un-Christian.”

“There is nothing un-Christian about finding out who God really is, who you really are in Him. and becoming healthy IN ORDER for God to be able to use you in the healthiest way possible…” I replied.

At the end of our conversation he expressed that for the first time in a long time…he was relieved, excited, and tentatively seeing a glimmer of possible hope…for himself. That he wasn’t alone.

In a moment of high definition clarity – I was reminded of why I do what I do. My heart is for the broken of the most broken. Not because I can give them some new undiscovered truth – but because I can relate to them., I know them, I have been them.Through the healing that God has brought me through, I – along with several other great people – get to be in a position to point people to God’s truth using  a Biblical 12 step/small group methodology that works. All to lead them to freedom in Him. And it works for every believer whether they are an addict or not.

Not because I or those I serve with want to “fix” them…but because we have been in the trenches with recovery, are intimately aware of where they are at, and want to help encourage them to move forward.

It all starts with with just meeting people with where they are at…no more, no less.
Till next time – Eric

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5 Responses to Moments of clarity…

  1. Lorraine Peschken says:

    I loved hearing this account once again, Eric. Just more evidence that The Lord doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called. Lorraine

  2. Jordan says:

    Powerful story and great reminder of why we do what we do.

    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Jim Cosby says:

    Thank you for that story of grace, being replicated in so many places. Recovery Road … Thomas Road … pray are they be the same. Continued blessings …

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