Little known fact about me – I’m the son of a minister. I’m a bit dubious of religious leaders.
It’s one more chip yet to fully come off my shoulder. One more bias/prejudice that I need to release. Meeting Reverend Bobby Bledsoe today was another step toward that goal. Bobby, in short, is the real deal. I admire people who not only have faith, but who act upon it.
Bobby’s energy is contagious – he speaks of needing outlets for God to work through. His outlets allow him to experience grace, gratitude, and healing. Meaningfully connecting with others to share faith is good. Reaching out to those who live with addiction, helping to fulfill their basic life needs, and instill hope is better. The bible passages I recall described Jesus reaching out to those society cast out. Few bear more social stigma than folks who live in active addiction.
Bobby’s mission is simple: He seeks to instill hope and facilitate recovery from addiction. He happens to do so through ministry and as a recovering addict. We spoke of what the community needs and how his church and my agency might collaborate. I’ll gladly talk all day about that because amongst the many problems in the profession of addiction recovery:
We don’t really collaborate. We compete with one another. As if somehow there isn’t enough addiction to go around. As if somehow there aren’t enough folks who need help. Nothing could be less true.
This is one of the many reasons why professional and governmental efforts to solve addiction will never suffice. Addiction is a community problem and it requires a multitude of stakeholders working together to create solutions.
As it happens, I am not a religious person. I am a spiritual person. I respect what Bobby believes and works from. Quite frankly, I have no desire to even consider the things that might divide us – I choose to focus on the things that unite us. Bobby reaches out to folks who live in the hell of addiction – that alone makes me not only want to know him, but to support his work as well.
City Reach Church is a huge addition to the solutions to addictions in greater Bangor and I urge you to support their work.
I’m all in. If your family, group, or organization seeks support in meaningfully addressing the problems addiction creates for us all, please let me know how I can be of service to you.