Every Monday morning in my classes we take time to share blessings from the weekend. It is a very productive time for the group. Anyone who had a positive weekend experience enjoys sharing the good report with the rest of us. Guys who did not have a particularly good weekend are often blessed by just hearing someone else’s good story. In fact, they will often share their own recollection of that man’s experience as they were nearby and watching. Other guys, after hearing what someone else shared, often begin to see what happened in their weekend as a blessing, also. For many, it is a highlight of the week and often guys can’t wait to get to class to share.
The new members of our Spiritual Recovery Program are still on blackout and not allowed to leave the campus, except to be escorted as a group to one of a number of churches that our guys attend. The others can go to the church of their choice and can then spend the day with family and friends. But amazingly, on Monday mornings, I hear regularly hear gratitude from them all as they recount some of the good things that happened in their lives over the weekend.
While each story is unique to that man and his experience, the stories generally follow similar themes. Frequently a man was really moved by events at the church service he attended and its impact was not lost on him even the next day. Of course that is what is supposed to happen to everyone every Sunday in church, but it has usually been a long time since this guy was in attendance and the experience is powerful.
Just about as often, are stories about the families who came to visit guys still restricted to the campus. We are often surprised to see them and overwhelmed by the love and support they offer. Then, there are the stories of men off restriction being invited back into the family circle from which they had been excluded. They visit the house where they haven’t been welcome or attend a family activity to which they hadn’t been invited for a long time. It is so meaningful to hear just how excited family is to reconnect back with us, once they can see that we are really working on our stuff.
Monday mornings are great times at Helping Up Mission. I invite you to join us sometime. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org before you come to be sure we aren’t doing something unique that day and will be on a different schedule. I hope you had a great weekend and are having your own Monday morning blessings!
Pastor Gary Byers
Spiritual Life Director