Sunday, April 3, 2011

Redemption Song....

Today is a beautiful day! I went out to one of my favorite brunch spots and enjoyed a yummy feast to get my day started. While I dined alone, I decided to read the paper. There was a story about a gentleman on the front page of the local section and the title was from "From Drug Addict to Employee of the Year". I started to skip reading it, but something told me it would be an interesting read. To summarize, the article was basically about an older gentleman's journey from drug addiction to salvation and redemption. It recounted his life, the mistakes he had made, crimes committed, the people he injured, and how a near death experience actually saved his life and was the first step in road to recovery from addiction. He came from a good family and like most people he had some troubling experiences in his life including molestation, trouble with the law, being an absentee father, being a drug dealer, and drug addiction. In the end after being beaten with in inches of his life, the one person in the neighborhood who still held compassion for him called the police. When the police arrived, the man begged the officer to arrest him...surprisingly he didn't have any outstanding warrants and had not broken any laws for which he could be arrested. Instead of taking the man to jail, the officer took him to Samaritans Ministries where they fed and clothed him. After a few weeks with Samaritan Ministries he decided to attend a local church and despite his less than desirable smell and appearance, strangers took interest in him and offered him assistance. Thirty days after his road to recovery began he began volunteering for a local program where he offered mentoring and guidance to individuals who were on the path he previously traveled. Later he went on to become a cook at a local restaurant. He spoke of how he tried to reconcile with his sons, it went well with one son and not so well with the other. Anyway, the article ended with him acknowledging his mistakes, apologizing for his transgressions, and accepting that he had to be held accountable for the choices he had made. The best part was seeing how he he had submitted to God and how the darkest days of his life prepared him for the brightest. He remained hopeful. As I read the article, with tears burning my eyes, it made me think of my own life. Often when we are going through our own dark days it seems like the days are darkest only for us. The reality is that most people face the same darkness, just in different circumstances.  The article reaffirmed that nothing is too big for God and the end, when we submit to His will...He will always get the glory. "But God", my journey could have mirrored this man's. Perhaps this was the path he had to take to get to what God ultimately had for him all the time. Like this man, my past is filled with mistakes, things I am not proud of, consequences for my actions, and lack of reconciliation. However, I believe all of my experiences were for me to understand just how big God is. It reminded me, that true peace comes from complete submission to God's will. It also comes from learning from mistakes and moving forward. As the man said in the article, some will always see him for who he used to be, and that's ok, because the one's that matter will see him for who he is today. For this man, he received his Redemption...and so can we. Thank God, if we are blessed to open our eyes each day, we can always be better today than yesterday.

I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee. Isaiah 44:22