Love Them Like Jesus
Romans 12:15 tells us to “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” One of the greatest privileges of serving at the Men’s Residence is not just seeing the power of God in the transformation of our clients, but it is also seeing the love of Christ being manifested in our own lives.
I remember when I first started at the Christian Care Center, I was a childcare worker in our Children’s Shelter. I thought I was there to serve the children, yet God was also there serving me. I was away from my child at the time. My addiction had caused me to have to move to a different state and being at the Children’s Shelter was healing to me.
Recently the Men’s Residence received a huge blessing when the Lord sent us a couple by the name of Barry and Melanie Lord. Barry started teaching on Friday mornings and soon after started bringing his wife Melanie along, and they brought with them healing and joy. They embraced these men as if they were their own sons. They walked in not seeing addicts and thieves but rather seeing men, seeing sons in need of love. They soon realized that coming for an hour once a week was not enough and started dropping by during the week just to bring joy and hugs to our men. They have been here to not only rejoice with these men but also to provide a shoulder to mourn on as well.
When I was at the Children’s Shelter, we had a group of volunteers that saw a need of providing birthday parties for our children. The vision was to celebrate each child on their birthday with a party and presents to allow them to feel the love they deserve. Most had never had a birthday party before.
Barry and Melanie have now brought that joy to our men. They make sure that every man on his birthday gets a special present from them to rejoice in his day! Most people would not even think about birthday gifts for men in rehab, but this couple knew God would be there with them as they showered love and celebrated their day alongside them. And what a blessing it has been to see these grown men be shown this love on their birthdays and to have them realize their past does not define them as unworthy of such love.
One of the things that Barry and Melanie shared with us was that they were also going through their own personal struggles with their son. He has been in a detention center and coming here has also brought comfort to them. When they miss the hugs from their son, they can come here, and our men are right there to hug them and be a support for them. When they miss celebrating their son, they can come here and rejoice with these men who have all become like adopted sons to Barry and Melanie. So just as the children at the shelter were a healing in my life, so our men have become a healing in this couples’ life as well.
God has allowed this couple not to just think of our clients as addicts but rather see them with the same eyes and heart that our Lord sees them. They love them like our Lord loves them. They rejoice with those who are rejoicing and mourn with them when they need mourning, and God has in return given them sons to rejoice when they are rejoicing and to be there to mourn when there is mourning in their own lives. Serving at our Men’s Residence is not just about being there for our clients, it’s also allowing God to be there for you through these men. If you would like to receive the blessing of being a part of our family here, please email me at Jamie@christiancarecenter.org