By Chris A.
This is the first word in the script and should serve as a reminder that you are welcome here. Your story is safe here and it doesn’t matter what you’ve done or what you’ve become. There are those of us in this room who have either done similar things, have thought about doing them, or were on our way to doing them except for the intervention of our higher power, a friend, D Day, or a combination of all.
I remember the day I was to meet my girlfriend’s parents for the first time. We were meeting them for breakfast, and I was as nervous as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs. I’ll never forget what transpired as we parked in a very full parking lot and entered the restaurant where every table was full, and every seat occupied. We slipped by the hostess and began looking for her parents through the sea of people. Seeing us from a distance her dad rose from his seat, his eyes lit up and a smile so big he could have eaten a banana sideways. As he walked through the crowded restaurant, carefully navigating around waitresses with trays full of food and patrons making their way to their tables, I noticed that he never took his eyes off his daughter. His pace quickened as he came closer, and he embraced his daughter as if she’d been rescued after being lost at sea. He stepped back, his eyes never leaving her as if I was invisible and gently held her face between his hands. As he held her, he told her how much he loved her and how happy he was to see her. She looked at her dad and told him she loved him and said, “Dad, I’d like for you to meet Chris.” Now look, her dad is like 5’ 8” and weighs a buck fifty soaking wet with his clothes on, but to me that morning he might as well have been six-six, 280 lbs. As his eyes turned from the daughter he loves to meet the thug who wanted to take her from under his wing to be his wife someday his expression…(long pause)…didn’t change. He looked at me with the same smile, the same light in his eyes, and said, “Chris, it’s so nice to meet you” as he embraced me with a hug. You see, my future father-in-law didn’t look at me in light of who I am on my own, he looked at me in light of who I was with. Because his daughter accepted me, he too accepted me and treated me as his own.
Our hope is that you feel welcome to Castimonia in that fashion. Whether you are a believer in Christ or a man in need of support to become sexually pure, welcome. Whether this is your first time or you’re a long-timer, welcome. Welcome to a community of men whose desire is to become the sexually pure men God intends us to be.
Prompts for discussion:
- How have you felt welcomed by the men of Castimonia?
- How do you help men feel welcomed?
- How did/does feeling welcome impact your recovery?
Scripture for reference: Romans 5:1-2