A Few Stories | Ignatian Spirituality Project

A Few Stories

Wayne Richard

Wayne learned after his parents died and his grandfather kicked him out “that people would hurt me for amusement, that people could and would be cruel, and that it was a normal part of life in the world.”

He began to use, ”but not enough to recognize a problem.

I depended on the drugs more and more to relieve the pain of living, the boredom of dead end jobs, and the lack of nurturing relationships in my life.”

He was lost, high, homeless, and desperate. “I was ready to end my life. I sat under a traffic bridge with a gun in my mouth, tears in my eyes. Now my descent was complete. My final thought as I was about to squeeze the trigger was, ‘God why wouldn’t you love me?’ And then it happened.”

“In that instant it was as if time stood still and I heard a voice as clear as my own, ‘Get up, leave here; there is something else for you to do’.”

“I knew I had to find freedom from the bondage of anger, bitterness, pity and ignorance of self. I desperately needed to live without the fear and loneliness that had guided my actions. And to do it I had to give God the lead.”

During his stay at a transitional center, Wayne attended an ISP retreat.

“During the retreat I began to examine the continuous presence of God in my life,” Wayne says.

That was in 1999. Since then he’s stayed clean, gotten a job at the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, and helped lead more than 60 retreats.

“I continue to go on retreat,” Wayne says, “because I see God move men on the retreats to faith and hope.”

 
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