Do you know that every day in Scotland, 3 people die from addiction? I heard this fact last week at the Scottish Parliament where I was attending the launch of “Stories of Hope.” It is a report by the Evangelical Alliance on the impact of amazing addiction recovery work undertaken by Christian organisations across Scotland.
The Garden Lobby was crammed with people, many with their own story to tell of recovery. Several people had been asked to speak, testifying not just to the work of the organisations but to the radical change that Jesus had brought to their lives. Setting them free from addiction. Showing that transformation is possible. Demonstrating that each person is precious in the eyes of God.
As the stories came to an end, a man called out: “Can I say something?”
These kind of moments can be a bit unsettling for an event organiser, not quite sure what could happen, what might be said. But he was given the microphone. He wanted to tell his own story of hope.
He told us how, as a boy, he was wild and violent. One day he and friends threw a brick through the window of a lady’s house. She came out and grabbed them, brought them into her home, where they saw the damage they had caused. So much was broken, even the TV had been smashed. As the police were called, the young lad started to tremble, afraid of what would be the outcome. In the midst of the mess, the lady saw his fear and offered him a drink of water. Wanted to help calm him down. It was such an unexpected act of kindness when he had caused this lady such harm. He knew he didn’t deserve to be treated kindly.
I don’t know who the man was, but his words have been going through my head this last week. “That woman was like Jesus,” he said, “I didn’t deserve to be treated like that.” He reminded me that Jesus gives me and you a second chance, even if we think we don’t deserve it .
This lady’s act of kindness made me wonder who God might put in my way, who might come into my home that I can be Jesus to. It reminded me not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it! Hebrews 13 .2