Annie Bruner is today’s guest blogger. Annie served this past summer as a MFuge track leader at Belmont University. Annie is currently studying Psychology at Kennesaw State University, with only five classes left to complete. You are likely to find her drinking vanilla milkshakes, watching Duck Dynasty, or daydreaming about the day she can finally meet one of her favorite people, Julie Andrews.
Before working M-Fuge, I had never had an encounter with a homeless person. I live in Atlanta, so I was aware that homelessness was an issue, but I usually ignored it. If they were homeless or addicted to drugs or alcohol, they were someone else’s problem. Certainly not mine.
This summer, I served at the Nashville Rescue Mission with my students. At first, I was nervous.
Surely God doesn’t want me to tell these people the gospel…
It turns out, I ended up having the gospel preached to ME this summer. Most men that I encountered were a part of the Mission’s Life Recovery Program for addictions. The Program aims to help men get their lives back on track, but also presents them with the life-altering beautiful truth of Jesus’ grace.
The first person in the Program that I met was not much older than me. He had struggled with drug addiction for several years until he ended up at the Nashville Rescue Mission. It was there that the Lord rescued him not only from his addictions, but also his brokenness. This man, who was once identified by his struggles, now finds his identity in Christ ALONE!
The more time I spent at the Nashville Rescue Mission, the more the Lord began to transform my heart. I met countless people who had surrendered their brokenness to the Lord and were living fully in the grace that Jesus has to offer. I began to think about the implications of grace in my own life.
The Lord showed me that there is nothing I can do to earn his grace.
Ephesians 2 says that we have been saved by grace through faith, and that grace is a gift from God. I realized how often I tried to work my way into grace—I thought that if I did more good works, God would love me more. However, the men of the Nashville Rescue Mission were a beautiful picture of God’s gift to us. They had literally nothing to offer God, but He rescued them and made them into His masterpieces anyway.