What I have learned in my hands-on experience working with people in recovery is that they have a spiritual responsiveness that often exceeds my own. Their level of spiritual receptivity and responsiveness to God exceeds that of most believers. I’ve been surprised at the level of openness to spiritual things.
I was recently asked to teach on baptism at the transition house where I volunteer. They have a Bible-based group on Thursday mornings and the leaders had asked for people top ten questions about God and the Bible. Baptism was a biggie. The leader wasn’t able to be there that week, so she asked me to teach.
I went through the baptism of John, of Jesus. I traced it through the book of Acts. After an hour of detailed looking at scriptures, they are still diligently looking up every passage. No one was walking in and out during the talk, which is rare. And when I finally got to Romans 6 where Paul talks about identifying with Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, the entire group broke into spontaneous applause.
If I were in a suburban church, they wouldn’t be putting up with this. They’d be checking out. Out of that transition house where I taught, seven people were later baptized. That kind of spiritual hunger and thirst is so inspiring to me. Although they have many difficult issues and barriers in life, their spirits are intact. They have a phenomenal capacity of respond to God. We underestimate the receptivity, and in doing so we are overlooking a large part of the harvest. I’m experiencing more of the Kingdom of God working with these folks than I have in years of ministry.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of God.