I've been blogging about losing my brother Mike this week. I thought I'd also let you in on what came out of it. I've lost two of my brothers and God really used that pain to get me to heal in every other area of my life. I truly came out of my shy shell as God applied His healing balm to my wounds. Just know that healing is often quite painful and the journey to health is riddled with personal deaths of all sorts.
God gave me a knowing that my brother was going to pass away and that it was going to be okay. He was going to redeem and use it. At the time Mike passed away, I felt God assure my spirit that it was okay. I was driving in the car when I felt that He was with Jesus. At this same season of the year, we felt directed to sell our first home in the cute white picket neighborhood we lived in. We didn't know exactly where we were going, and, in fact, we ended up being homeless for nine months. Just long enough to give birth to something.
God was directing our steps toward a healing and hospitality ministry. I really wanted to do this to honor my brothers and their gift of warmth and hospitality. I don't think I would have been willing to take on such a huge undertaking unless I had recently been confronted with the brevity of our existence and the importance of the time God gives us. We looked at several places that never worked out. Then, we stumbled on Gomer. Talk about out of your comfort zone.
Y'all, I like Tidy. Gomer has never ever, even on her best day, been tidy. I dust and in an hour it's dusty. We waded through no sinks, no pipes, old pipes, no oven, no insulation, and dirt by the buckets. We are still wading. People keep coming however. Lots of people. Hundreds of people.
The thing that is so gut wrenching about people who struggle with alcohol and drug abuse is that you really lose them long before they die. They are not even versions of themselves you recognize. I think I grieved this more than my brothers' deaths. The street we live on is abnormally full of people who struggle with substance abuse. We try to love on each person as if they were one of my brothers and grieve their condition the same. Please pray for healing here.
Since moving in here, I have prayed every day for the gift of warmth and hospitality. The Holy Spirit truly can direct the heart to genuine love and care even in a society with deadened emotions.
If you need some love or healing, come on down. We'll put on the dog. I have no idea why we Southerners say such odd things. I even had to look up the meaning of that one. Basically, we'll put on a feast for you that will rival the prodigal returning home and, hopefully, you'll feel as much of the Father's love.
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