Thursday, October 18, 2007

Something In Our Erik

In my Father's house there are many, many rooms
In my Father's house there are many, many rooms
And I'm going up there now to prepare a place for you
That where I am, there you may also be...

- Rich Mullins

Things didn't go as planned with Erik, whom we thought would be a well entrenched member of our "Upper Room" family by now.

We were set to least on our end - well, we hadn't gone into a mad cleaning frenzy like we might have done...eventually - but there were some delays in Erik being able to leave where he had been staying and soon Amy and I both started having some reservations. Something wasn't right.

Amy and I talked, and prayed...we prayed for wisdom, we didn't want to jump to conclusions but we also wanted to make sure we understood God's intended role for us in Erik's life.

In one of our initial conversations, I had told Erik that he had to be honest with us and himself if this was going to work. I also said he had to respect our home and respect himself.

Amy reinforced that message quite a bit as well, and I think it was gnawing on Erik a bit.

Last night Erik was finally honest.

After I told him that we felt like his "story" didn't always add up and that maybe he needed more help than we could provide, he called Amy to tell her he knew we couldn't let him move in with us but he had made a decision. He also detailed the demons he had been denying.

After work this morning, I picked up Erik and his few belongings, took him out for coffee and we talked about opportunities and accountability. My talk was intended to encourage him to utilize all the resources that would soon be available to him.

I gave him the advice I have given a lot of people: No matter your situation, what you get out of it will depend on what you put into it.

We talked for a good while, I didn't want to rush him. Before too long though it became apparent he was ready to take the next step so we took it together.

About 15 minutes later, I walked with him through the doors of the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center. I stayed as he filled out paper work and was "evaluated." Then I was told I could go, in fact I had to go, Erik would be staying.

We said goodbye too quickly but they were serving lunch and time was running out...right after lunch Erik will be put to work. He will work 40 hours a week in a safe, clean, regimented and Christian environment. If things go as hoped he'll keep up that schedule, along with meetings, counseling sessions and classes for six months.

We'll be very much a part of his life during that time - after a required period of isolation passes.

His routine will be strictly monitored, as will his breath, and some bodily fluids...and he will be steeped in the word of God.

It's a good place and a good program where thousands of men have started their lives anew.

I can make no promises because I don't know what our lives will be like in six months. Erik can't make any promises now either - he knows he must take things day at a time.

However Amy and I have both told Erik that he now has "family" who will stand by him, and if he stays true to his stated intentions and the rules of his new home, there may very well be a room in our house for him one day.

We are certain God wants us in Erik's life.

It just took a little while to realize it wasn't a room in our house He wanted us to was room in Erik's heart.

What a beautiful home, God-of-the-Angel-Armies! I've always longed to live in a place like this, Always dreamed of a room in your house, where I could sing for joy to God-alive!-Psalm 84:1 (MSG)