The Broken and the Beautiful


“Abstract Angel”, Unknown Artist

I recently started attending Celebrate Recovery with the girls in the House. If you are not familiar with Celebrate Recovery (CR), it is a Christian 12 Step Recovery program, so while it shares many similarities with AA, NA, SA, Al-Anon, etc, it openly includes Bible teaching and praise and worship to Jesus. CR is also non-issue specific, meaning anyone who struggles with anything from addiction to sexual abuse to verbal abuse to codependency to any other life struggle may attend and seek healing and recovery.

CR isn’t lead by some charismatic preacher who seems to have it all together. It is lead and run by other people who are in recovery. Men and women who have bravely faced their hurts, habits, and hang0ups volunteer to lead worship, speak, teach, run logistics, sponsor, and facilitate groups. An offering is taken up each week to cover the cost of space, coffee, materials, and snacks.

I have now attended CR large group with the girls several times, and each week I find myself gleaning more from the teaching and step lessons than I could have ever imagined. When I drove the girls to CR for the first time, I had the audacity to think “I will just sit and chaperone. I have already done my work.” HA! Never has a more untrue statement run through my head.

First of all, we are all broken. Some of us make it look prettier than others, but we are ALL broken and in need of healing. Secondly, no one ever “makes it” in recovery. There is no “finish line” per say. It is a process in which we are always working, always involved, and always aware.

Tonight I was mostly struck by the broken and beautiful people who make this CR community work. They are not particularly gifted speakers. No one has professional training in teaching or leadership. They are just broken, beautiful people who have hearts for other broken, beautiful people. I thought about this as I watched a man with only one functioning hand play guitar in the worship band. It would be easy to write him off due to his obvious handicap, but he not only played with gusto, he sang with passion.

With all the foolishness happening in the world with our “leaders”, I can’t help but wonder how different our cities, counties, states, and countries would be if we were lead by the broken and beautiful, rather than by the wealthy and arrogant. What if our leaders were measured by the amount of forgiveness they have received and given as opposed to the size of their Super PAC?

I think we would all be celebrating a lot more than just recovery…


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