Posted by: Kerry Spencer | December 21, 2008

Drama, sin, and love

Last weekend we witnessed the most drama concerning our residents since I’ve been here.  More than a handful of guys made major mistakes and broke rules, mostly independent of each other.  Some gave in to old addictions.  One, fresh off receiving forgiveness and mercy regarding a previous rules violation, broke the exact same rule again.

 

All this drama in one weekend weighed very heavily on those of us who have grown to love these guys.  As a result of their actions, I’ve experienced feelings of frustration, anger, sadness, disappointment, and helplessness.  I guess part of what made it hard is that most of these guys seemed to be doing pretty well. 

 

This has helped me to realize how truly fragile and volatile the majority of these guys and their situations are.  The fact that they live here at Jeff. St. means they almost surely have a history of substance abuse and mental illness.  Even when these issues are not obvious, they are still a powerful reality.  A reality that is not easily overcome.

 

I’ve also come to think of my relationships with these guys in contrast to my relationship with God.  I’m on level ground with these guys – we’re all sinful people.  In contrast, God and I are as far from equal as possible.  He is holy and perfect.  So if I, as a sinner, can be this disappointed, and frustrated, and upset about these other sinners’ actions, how much more offensive must my sins be to a holy God?  But in view of my sin’s great offense, how deep is the Father’s love, mercy, grace, and patience towards me?  My goal is to live out these same qualities towards others.

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