In a well-written letter, artfully crafted in beautiful cursive handwriting, Roger tells a friend that, “One of my greatest accomplishments in life has been, and still is, my sobriety.” He came in for our interview well-dressed in a pale blue polo shirt and nice khaki pants, hair long but well-groomed into a ponytail. In our brief interaction, he expressed concern for the health of one of our guests, compassion for the others who seem to be in a worse situation than himself, and his kindness and big heart was apparent within our seven minute conversation. Rather than telling me his story, he handed me this letter.
“Everything you need to know about my story is right here in this letter to my dearest friend and supporter,” he explained. We spoke for a short time, and it wasn’t until after he left that I began to read about this beautiful soul named Roger.
His new life began after he spent quite some time clinging to life, hooked up to a respirator because of his alcohol addiction. He had also used meth throughout the years, but that didn’t have a hold on him like alcohol did. He’s now been sober for well over 10 years, and he knows that its because of God that he no longer has the cravings or the taste for liquor. As I read over his words, I thought it was interesting that on a few occasions he referred to God as my God. His close relationship with the Lord came across loud and clear.
He addressed his friend, “You told me once, ‘Roger, you are made of a much finer metal than that and God has a far greater plan for you…’” While being here at the Gospel Rescue Mission, that plan didn’t seem to be very obvious to Roger, I could tell as I read his eloquent words, but the hope that he expressed throughout the four-page message was hard to miss. “I’m a good influence to the young and old...people have begun to gravitate toward me. It’s like magic in a way,” he wrote, very aware of how God was using him in the least likely of situations. “I do believe I’m an instrument of our God,” he mused.
As he concluded his letter, he gave one final thought. “Together, we can give away what has been given to me. Although I’m down, and some think broken, I have never felt so free. I feel good about the things to come.” It wasn’t but a few days after our interaction that Roger left GRM with family, and we pray that this was God guiding him to a new situation where he could be a light for others, just as he was praying for.