https://guidinglightworks.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/73b1f7_9e7ddf0c8e924153897b4d180eed8104mv2.jpg 413 2048 Top of the List https://guidinglightworks.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/GuidingLight-White-logo-01-300x70.png Top of the List2017-05-25 15:55:332018-03-20 10:03:27Everyday Miracles
You might know that we (Guiding Light) own a group of 12 apartments out in Kentwood named Iron House. After men complete the 4 month program at our downtown facility, they are considered for an opportunity to live at Iron House when they’ve secured full-time work. The 2-bedroom apartments are recently remodeled, with 2 men to an apartment. Currently we have 17 men living at Iron House, working, paying rent, and actively participating in the community.
Sometimes at the weekly Iron House check-in meetings, I’ll look around and get overwhelmed by the improbability of each of the men sitting there. It’s not just that they’re here, sober (although that’s part of it). There’s something miraculous about their willingness to be present with each other, to be honest, to joke around in spite of (or maybe because?) they come from such dramatically different backgrounds. There’s a deep experience of pain in each of them, too, and maybe that provides some commonality.
To sit in that circle is to be part of the miracle of their community, and the miracle of each of their lives: Yes, sobriety, but also that they’re taking ownership of changing their lives to really be a different way in this world.
Is this everyone? No. But it is the majority. It’s not always miracles: We’ve had two guys relapse in the past month, and that shook up the community. It’s my opinion that honesty (the lack thereof) which had a lot to do with their fall.
But also in the past month, we’ve had two men make offers on their own homes. Several guys have been hard at work fixing their credit and settling past debts, clearing up IRS issues and bank problems. Men are moving into solid-paying, skilled trades. Some men are getting medically cleared to either get off meds or decrease dosages because they’re changing their diets and habits and lifestyles.
The guys are invested not just in living in recovery, but in being part of a community. Outside of Iron House requirements, they set up events to do things together. They check in on each other.
There are a lot of opinionated, ornery men living there, but they’re able to laugh at themselves and show each other some grace. There’s a simple, quiet celebration of being alive and being part of today that shows up in each man. You can see them holding fast to this opportunity of new life.
What are quiet moments you are celebrating? Has there been a time recently when you’ve looked around you with a sense of wonder?