March 1, 2023

In Search of a Father’s Love
A Beacon post

He wasn’t living on just any street. He chose to live in the alley behind the Las Vegas Rescue Mission. He knew that all he had to do was walk a few steps, through the door and into an opportunity to turn his life around.

But he resisted. Day after day after day, Mark looked across the street and he thought, “No. Not yet.” Staff members at the Mission would call to him, beckoning him over, inviting him inside.

“They kept trying,” he says, “but I wasn’t having it.”

Not even his family could break through. After an intervention where they urged him to go to rehab, Mark said, “You’re wasting your time.” And he stormed out the door.

Why such stubborn resistance?

“Pride,” Mark says. “I would never in my life admit that I’m an addict. I always had it in my head that I could make it through on my own. But I’d always end up on the streets, isolated, dirty, alone, no friends. I just had no ambition.”

Thirty years of addiction will do that to a man. It will eat at one’s soul, tear down one’s will, rip asunder any semblance of purpose. An abusive father will do that too. …

The walls come down

“Me and my father never got along,” Mark says.

Mark was thinking about those things one day when he walked by the Mission. A staff member, someone he knew, called out, “Get over here!” Suddenly, inexplicably, the wall of resistance began to crumble. Mark walked over, but tried to play it cool. “I said I was fine,” he remembers. “But I was a hot mess.”

And then it happened: “For one split second, I said, ‘Okay, I’ll come in.’ I had said ‘no’ so many times, they didn’t believe me.”

Almost immediately, Mark began to feel the love he’d been seeking his whole life. “I’m working through this right now,” he says. “I tried to get my father’s love, and apparently he didn’t know how to do it.”

Mark began to realize a life-changing truth: “I had been looking to the wrong person for love. I should have been looking to Jesus Christ.

“God’s love for me is unbelievable. And I need that love … a lot.”

Through your kindness, you show love for homeless neighbors. Thank you!

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