It’s 4:58 am and as I struggle to fall back to sleep I think “come on! Go to sleep. The alarm for work will go off in an hour” I have this surreal moment when I realize that there will be no more alarm to go to work here in nashville. This moment where I realize that yesterday ended a 60 year tradition here in Nashville.
While I once heard someone say that our program “has in essence been non existent” since a massive flood destroyed our building in 2010, their idea of reality and success is obviously different then mine.
We graduated 15 men. For those 15 men, our program has been a life saver. For those 15 men, their new lease on life has meant everything to them, to their families, and to those still trying to get there.
At times we’ve felt like the little engine that could. Insurmountable odds such as the number of men we could take in, renting housing, warehouse and store space causing us to start each month already trying to work ourselves out of a debt. All the while saying “we think we can, we think we can”.
Along the way, someone decided we couldn’t. Somewhere along the way, promises of help, teasers of the greatness it could be stopped and to some, those 15 men no longer mattered in the big picture. To me, to us, to our church family, those 15 men are trophies of Grace. Proof of God’s moving and working despite the obstacles placed in our way by shortsightedness, pride, discrimination or ignorance.
Yesterday we said good bye to our church family. Yesterday, through a moving time, we retired our flag, and our church family stepped in as the surrogate parents, aunts, uncles and cousins we could no longer be. The men, the people, the experiences here will be ones I cherish above all others, because through the temptation to give up, to walk away we (the men, our church, our family) stood and said in the words of our founder “I’ll fight!” and fight we did!