by Anthony Welch, ISP Washington DC

One of my favorite songs is “Rattle!” by Zach Williams. There is a lyric in the song that goes: 

“Open the grave, I’m coming out; I’m gonna live, gonna live again!”

This lyric always reminds me of the darkness of alcoholism and drug addiction, wanting to stop but using anyway, knowing that I threw away all of God’s gifts to me and that the world would likely be better off without me, not having the courage to tell anyone the truth, just pretending that I am ok but knowing in my heart that I am alone, frightened and broken.

At 26 years old, reaching out of my grave to the hand of a man named Gerry in East Baltimore, I finally got the courage to surrender to a Higher Power.    

Easter always reminds me of this resurrection promise. Life is difficult and scary. God’s love is there to shower us with light and comfort. But for me it takes continually reaching out of the dark grave to the hand of another to ask for help getting back toward that light. Not only do I want the courage to reach for that hand, but I also pray for the courage to be that hand for others.

ISP gives me an opportunity to serve others, to offer that hand up toward the light, and most importantly to create a sacred retreat space for others to encounter God. Every time I serve in ISP, my relationship with God is expanded and I am reminded to sing with great joy:  

“Open the grave, I’m coming out; I’m gonna live, gonna live again!”

Reflection Questions: What are the resurrection moments you have faced yourself? Who has helped you in a most difficult struggle? How did they offer you a path of hope beyond the difficulty? 

Anthony is a volunteer on the ISP team in Washington, DC, and lives in Baltimore. He worked as a scientist and now focuses his time and passion to his family, coaching high school soccer, enjoying the outdoors, and ISP. He is passionate about his pursuits in Ignatian spirituality and just completed his preparations as an ISP Ambassador of Hope.