Mike had a rough life growing up but he was strong and courageous. He is a former Army Ranger. He was all he needed.
Until everything fell apart when he resigned from the military where depending on self isn’t all that’s needed. His marriage crumbled, because it didn’t have a very strong foundation in the first place. He lost his home.
He was angry and bitter. He landed in jail more times than he wanted to count because he couldn’t keep himself from fighting wherever he was. Mike’s home was under a bridge.
Then he heard about a place to get a change of clothes, and even a hot meal. Everyday if he chose. It was a place where no one judged anyone. A place where those who care do so because they love God. But they never force their belief on anyone.
He visited that place often. And very slowly, as the people there gave in God’s name, Mike’s heart began to soften. He signed on as a volunteer to help people like himself. He stopped looking for reasons to start a fight.
One day Mike walked into the church attached to this giving center. God met him there with open arms of love and forgiveness. And Mike melted in His presence.
Fast forward 18 months. Mike is a part time employee at the place that was the catalyst for his transformation. Because of steady, though small, income, and not frequenting jail, he was able to buy a truck. He lives there. It’s not a home, of course. But it’s a step in a better direction. In fact, when I met Mike not long into his employment at this giving center, he announced that he’d just secured a full time job.
When Mike tells his personal story of redemption with thanksgiving, his face is full of light. Because now Mike has hope.