There are frivolous celebrations, and there are traditional ones. Other celebrations are because of routine, or obligation. Some are cultural or mandated by our families. And then there are celebrations that can’t be described as anything other than sacred.
Sacred celebrations are the ones that hold an air of the miraculous, that send a shiver down the spine, and pushes tears to our eyes. These are the celebrations we thought we might never see, the ones that defy fear, and chaos, and the brokenness that’s unfolding in the backdrop.
In our small corner of the world, we have had the true joy of experiencing two such sacred celebrations in recent days. Moments of healing and discovery…the honoring of new things, new beginnings, and new lives.
The first was two weeks ago when we marked six months of sobriety for 6 of our clients. Their journeys began as El Salvador closed down. They found shelter in the temporary emergency shelter during the strictest days of quarantine. The structure brought them into a place of forced change and sobriety. They decided they weren’t going back. Since the shelter closed, we continued to walk with them offering housing, support, therapy, Bible studies, coaching, encouragement, and connection.
Some of these men also completed a job training program on that September morning two weeks ago we honored them, and cheered for them, and congratulated them, and it was simply sacred. It was sacred because nothing short of the hand of God can bring healing and new beginnings out of chaos and disorder.
And then just last week on another sacred morning as light drifted down onto his face, we honored a young man as he graduated from the New Dawn Residential Program. The truth is that the last 6 months haven’t even been residential for him in the way he expected. He had the added challenge of continuing his recovery virtually. He has done the hard work of therapy over a screen, and making things work with his family, and keeping his feet on a rocky path.
At just 17 years of age, he had the resolve to keep putting one foot in front of the other, to move from addiction and fear toward wholeness and healing and a newness of life. A new connection was formed with God, and with his family, and that process was sacred indeed.
When we least expect it, God moves, steps in, and does a mighty work. When our efforts at perfect programming all break into pieces, he fills the gaps. When the world turns upside down, he is not shaken and when we fall short, he never does.
This is why we celebrate. Yes we celebrate the resilience of our clients, and the perseverance of our staff. And we celebrate the consistent prayers of our supporters and the commitment of our donors. But the miracle comes from the God who pulls it all together, breathes life, and makes something that is truly sacred.