“Woulda coulda, shouda” is probably a feeling we all have had from time to time. It has been muttered countless times at Garland Thompson Men’s Center and Rebuilding Lives Center. Positive opportunities lost or ignored are one of the themes of people suffering in addiction as well as in poverty. We begin to change this by blessing men with a clean and safe environment, good food, and people who are professionally and personally interested in and actively care for them. When they choose to be in a program and work to change their lives they are further blessed with a sleeping room, life changing classes, and developing friendships.
Some of these friendships go to the next level and become a brotherhood. This brotherhood is held together by the saving blood of Jesus, shared life experiences, and mutual investment. They understand the agony of defeat oh so well. Many have tasted sweet success, but need to develop a history dominated by success and not failure. We help them accomplish that and they also do that for each other.
A gentleman suffered from verbalizing his thoughts out loud instead of just thinking them. He is a nice guy, but when you people hear most all of your thoughts they tend to give you space. He had been in the program for a while and people were still giving him space. He did not seem to mind. He seemed to be used to people staying away–one day it changed.
He was in a crowded classroom—there was no space to be given. I was teaching a he started to verbalize after he answered a question. I noticed the gentleman next to him nonchalantly touch his arm and he stopped verbalizing. After class, I stopped to think about the kind exchange and remembered other times a gentle touch was given and the man became self-aware and stopped. There is not as much space now between him and others. He is not a group person—probably because of life experiences, but he is with others and they all seem to know that a gentle touch will work a miracle.
|Spring Graduation class with Steve Frazee, Pat McKernan and Scott Morris
I wonder how many people reading this will have their own “woulda, shoulda, coulda” moment. Our men have figured out what a brother needed and are glad to offer it. They offer a living example of the truth Paul wrote in Romans 15:1-3 “We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: ‘The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.’” Set yourself free from “woulda, coulda, shoulda” by being aware of the people God has placed in your life and start by doing small things. Help us change the world one life at a time in Jesus’ name. Even the littlest thing you do will make a difference.
Senior Program Director