I am convinced we see what we want to see. I have lived in Nashville since 2002 and have driven by the Nashville Rescue Mission many times. However, it took me eight years to really see it. I attended college down the road at Belmont University. But it wasn’t until after the flooding occurred in Nashville during May of 2010, that I was inspired to walk through the doors of the Mission for the first time.
I had been working on songs for a new album called See You, in which I was exploring all the ways I had seen God at work in my life. I was writing a song in response to the flood and praying for God to send help to our devastated city. After a few days, I realized I was praying for God to send help, but I wasn’t doing anything myself to help. I had forgotten that while Christians are certainly called to pray, we are also called to action. We are supposed to be the hands and feet of Jesus, and God was challenging me to give my own time and resources to show His love in my city. I wrote a song called “I Refuse” that summed up what I learned from the situation, and its basic message was that while I can’t do everything, I must refuse to do nothing.
“We are all in need of Christ’s love, and the Mission is a place where that love is given freely.”
As I opened my eyes to the needs in our community, I began to see many ways to serve. I came across the Nashville Rescue Mission online and quickly signed up to help. Not knowing anything about the Mission, I assumed its primary functions were to provide food and shelter for those who need them. After the first five minutes of my tour of the facility, those presuppositions were blown away. Yes, the Mission provides food and housing, but it also goes abundantly beyond that. Like Jesus, those who work at the Mission help to meet both physical and spiritual needs. Those in the life-recovery program are provided with everything from GED classes to Bible studies, providing a healthy way to get back on their feet and rebuild their physical and spiritual health. I recently met one man who was nearing the end of the program, and he told me God and the Mission saved his life.
Since May of 2010, my wife and I have been back to the Nashville Rescue Mission numerous times to serve meals, help in the warehouse and even play music at the coffee house, which is an incredible experience. On the Friday night I played at the coffee house, the men smiled, clapped, sang along and even danced in celebration of the grace that has been poured out for all of us. Every time I go back, I experience Jesus in a new way. We see what we want to see, and if you want to see God at work, look no further than the Nashville Rescue Mission.
Singer/songwriter Josh Wilson grew up the son of a preacher in Lubbock, Texas. He signed with Sparrow Records in 2006 and has released three albums since. His latest album is called See You, and includes the hit single, “I Refuse.”