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Easter Meditations: Residual Hope

By Seth Thomas

There are people who go to Bible school and study Christian theology for years and years of their lives, yet somehow miss the opportunity to apply some of the most basic aspects of who Jesus is. Complex doctrines aside, one simple and crucial attribute of Jesus is that He came to us. Simple as that. We had messed things up, and although He could have moved on and left us in our mess, He instead chose to step down from Heaven to enter our mess. In the process, He took upon Himself what we should have been liable for and gave us the opportunity for a new life in return.

Over the weekend, a young man, who we’ll call James for privacy reasons, came by the church for a shower and a hot meal the day after the eviction. We had some good conversations, and he was really touched by what we were doing. He had attempted but not completed detox a few months ago about 45 minutes south of Burien before ending up back here. On Saturday, he mentioned that his ID was still at the rehab center. He was ready to get his stuff and off drugs, so I told him I could drive him down on Monday.

This morning, I arrived at the new homeless camp and began calling his name outside each tent to try and find him. Finally, I managed to locate him, but he was just waking up and needed a minute. As I waited, another familiar face returned to his tent; we’ll call him Paul. Paul had been at the church this weekend as well. Someone discovered he loves music, so I let him play my guitar. It’s amazing how bonds can form through such simple things. Come to find out, several of these people are pretty talented in the areas of music and art. Paul was curious about what we were up to, so I explained. He expressed that he could use some help getting his ID back too. I told him we could help him sometime as well. Open doors continue to emerge within this community as trust is built.

Once James was ready, we called the rehab center to confirm that his stuff was still there, but amidst several tries, we could not get a hold of anyone to check, so we made the drive anyway. James fell asleep most of the way there, so it was an opportunity to just quietly pray for him along the way. Upon arriving, we found that his mom had already picked up his stuff for him a while back. James explained that he was not on speaking terms with his mom but gave me her phone number to confirm that she
had everything.

After explaining who I was and the whole situation, she broke down in tears because she hadn’t known if her son was even still alive. I assured her that he was ok and ready to go into detox and that I intended to help walk with him through the process. We drove back and found an open bed at a detox center in Seattle. As he ate a few snacks and filled out the paperwork before entering, he mentioned that he probably would have bailed if someone wasn’t there with him. Relationship is so key!

I got to simply pray with and support him through his first steps in this new season of his life. With his thirtieth birthday around the corner, I encouraged him that his 30s would be a brand new season for him. The continuing support throughout this process is going to be even more important than the initial drive to the center.

After he was all set, I called his mom back and told her he was in a good place. I asked if I could pray for her, too, to which she replied, “I’m not really a religious person myself, but you can pray for me anytime you want.” Perfect! I don’t consider myself a very religious person either; in fact, Jesus also often tended to offend the religious people of His day. He simply stepped into our mess and paid the price to bring life and healing where there was previously death and destruction. Simple as that. Anyone who follows Jesus should be applying that same principle as well!

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