Service – A crucial step toward recovery


Pain is everywhere. Suffering is all around. Its unavoidable and it seems we are either contributing to it or being its victim or both. It was a painful day for the student body at the school where I teach. A senior who was around 8 months pregnant gave birth to a still born over the weekend and the news broke today. My spirit was crushed when I read the e-mail. I don’t teach her, in fact I don’t even know her. Yet I shed tears imagining the pain and the grief that she must be bearing. One of my friends teaches her in his Gov/Econ class and raves about how seriously she takes school and how excited she was to become a mom. She works at a local Chipotle and is often seen pulling double shifts. That same friend has taken action and is spearheading a gift giving campaign for the student’s family. You see not only are they dealing with a tragic loss but they cannot afford the $1800 to bury the child. He is asking that faculty and students alike give what they can spare and show this grieving young mother what love and community is all about.

“If you’re not serving, you’re not in recovery.”

Tonight was my weekly meeting. I go to a group called Celebrate Recovery. Its a 12 step program and tonight we happened to be talking about step 12: practicing our principles. Its very easy to talk about what we believe and what we stand for but another thing all together to walk that out daily. We can talk about love, acceptance, community, recovery, redemption and everything else but the 12th step forces us to put it into practice. It forces us to realize its not all about us. The 12th step is really the proof of our recovery. Its proof because when we love others selflessly, we show how much Jesus is changing us. When we ask ourselves, “Does my lifestyle reflect what I believe?” then we are getting at the heart of a healthy recovery.

The cool thing about serving others as a Christian is its part of our identity. It should be at our core. We have been learning about the Social Gospel movement in my class recently and it made perfect sense that most of the members were Christians. Christians should feel compelled to take care of the poor, the sick, the broken. We should serve because Jesus served. We should look to heal pain because Jesus has done that for us.

Pain is everywhere and sometimes unavoidable. So to is the love of Christ. When we allow Him to take our pain then we can serve those around us that need it most.



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