Stories of faith are sacred stories. How we speak to God, how we hear God, and where we see God’s face are all part of our own individual sacred relationships. The relationship changes over time; it ebbs and flows, thins out or grows up, twists and turns. All parts of our journey with God are holy, most especially when we choose to share them with others.
ISP programs encourage and honor each individual’s personal sacred story. Our programs are based on creating a healthy place for a community, a safe space for vulnerability and a holy time to explore our sacred stories. We reach out to meet individuals exactly where they are on their journey and be present for them at that moment. Every person has the ability to be a teacher and share their wisdom, even those who have been told in the past that they have nothing to offer. We believe that searching for and locating God, in the dark spots in our lives and in the bright spots, is an act of meaning-making, which lays a strong foundation for healing and recovery.
Consider Issac, who grew up in a large family with an alcoholic father. He began experimenting with substances at a young age. Despite achieving success in the Boston Police Academy, he suffered from addiction and relapses and in 2012 found himself homeless and in the hospital.
There he met a sick young man who looked straight at him with yellow eyes and said rather plainly but directly: “You may feel hopeless but you’re not helpless.” What Issac heard was: I feel for you but what are you gonna do about it? Here’s a guy that might die and he doesn’t feel sorry for himself… he’s helping me. Kapow!!!
As they talked, the man convinced Issac to return home and gave him the bus fare to return to Boston.
Back in Boston, Isaac found ISP, which helped him to “recognize the love and support that is present to me everyday. All I have to do is access it.”
You can read Issac’s full story and explore more powerful sacred stories from our participants here.
And don’t forget to register to join ISP at the Company of Grace event on March 9th, when we will celebrate the sacred within each of our stories!