I'm unable to hold it together lately.
I mentioned in my last entry that I've cried a lot. I think the tears I've been shedding are an answer to a prayer. Many of my tears are not sad ones, but come from an overwhelming grace that reduces me to a joyful sobbing.
In the last month, I've been getting to know a new friend I met on Ninth Street. “Maximilian” is an honest and kind-hearted man who has experienced God in the last year in new ways. His heart has opened up to God and God has begun a real work in him. He also battles drug addiction. I love this guy a lot, and my heart yearns and breaks to see him completely free.
In all of this, I've asked God to give me a real and true hope for Max, a hope that is grounded in the reality of what will be. In answer to my prayer, God has shown me Arley. I've written about Arley before. Three years ago, he was just another wino in the park. Today, he's a strong man of God, filled with a love that flows from him like water from the temple. Lately, I can hardly think about Arley without breaking down. The reality of what God has done in his life overwhelms me. It overwhelms me that I had anything whatsoever to do with that work. I feel absolutely humbled and honoured to know and love Arley. I can't take any credit for what God has done, and yet the Father saw fit to make me part of Arley's story of redemption.
The other day, Arley and my friends and I sat by the river and prayed. Maximilian was on my mind, and when Arley began praying for him, I wept. Arley's story is different than Max's, but the heart of it is the same. Arley can pray for him in a way that is very special. I know that when Arley prays for someone who's in the midst of heartbreak and addiction, God listens.
I know that my friend will be okay. I know God will set him free. I know that it may take some time, but I'm sure it will happen. I only need to look at Arley, so free and alive, to be assured of how God tells a good story.
Hope is real and advancing upon us. I can try to despair, but I am unable.