The holidays have passed, the New Year’s resolutions have been made (and maybe broken), and reality has begun to creep in. When talking to one of our campus pastors he said, “We are faith walking into 2018.” There is so much hope at the beginning of the New Year and all that is to come: all the growth and life-change. As the days pass by and the excitement of the New Year fades are we ready for all that will come with 2018?
Maybe it starts with the resolution we make year after year or the relationship we can never make peace in. When we are honest with ourselves, we know that not one of us has it all together. There are lessons we learn over and over, mistakes we make more than once. It is easy in the midst of a new year to feel like each mistake is too much, that we will never grow beyond the person we are today. As Christians, we are constantly on a journey of restoration through Jesus as He continues to make us whole in Him.
Something that sets Water Street apart from other shelters is the focus on each individual that comes through our doors. At Water Street, we know that homelessness is not an identity but a symptom of other things going on. Money will not fix homelessness and jobs won’t fix homelessness there is more to each story that walks through these doors than what is seen on the surface and labeled as ‘homeless’. Just as ‘homeless’ is only a symptom, we know all our faults and failures are a symptom of being human and we are not our symptoms. Our identity is not in the things the world wants to label us as our identity is in God.
It isn’t uncommon at Water Street for guest or residents to leave and then come back months or years later. The roots that produce homelessness are deep and usually are not an easy fix, just like the damaged roots in our life are not always a simple fix. What matters is that we know no matter how many times we fall we are safe, we are loved, and we are welcomed by Jesus. He takes us into His loving arms no matter how many times we repeat our mistakes. Here at Water Street, we are trying to be an extension of that love so our guest and residents know they are always welcomed, always loved, and have a safe haven with us. Just as the Lord keeps calling us back to Him, He keeps calling people back to Water Street. It is a small part of a large story of restoration that He is playing out in each of us.