Cheer on Cyle: Advocating for Freedom
by Jess Luoma
There is only One who knows where we have come from and where we are going. Cyle, photographed above, has had no easy go of life, but holds on to hope for a “break in the chaos.” After he broke his back (for the second time), he doubled his weight, gaining 230 pounds in two years and was displaced from work while awaiting his surgery. This, coupled with wounds of being misunderstood and undervalued, led to depression and self-doubt, a daily internal battle.
He has struggled with addiction and homelessness as a result. In the world of addiction, we recognize that it’s not a drug problem, it’s a pain problem. Homelessness and addiction hold hands with rejection and isolation, medicating the longing to have meaningful relationships in a healthy community.
“People have made me feel as if because of the struggle with drugs, depression, and homelessness, I was worth less than dirt. It’s easy for people that haven't gone through what you go through to cast that judgment on you. But if they knew the amount of pain and torture I caused myself internally, they might have a slightly different opinion. I think that society as a whole doesn't understand what moral fiber is anymore. So keeping that in mind, I shouldn't let their judgment have such a harsh effect on my life,” he reflects.
Cyle has worked full-time jobs, owned all the luxuries that society celebrates, and lost it all. What good are these things if we forfeit our souls? This is a question to which he acknowledges— merely a catalyst to make a change for something greater.
“What [the devil] doesn't count on, is the moment we realize, yes we have sinned, made poor choices, burned bridges. At that moment, the devil loses his power over us. The Lord sits patiently waiting for us to come back home and gain our place at his table. After all, we are the children of God, our Savior, and Creator of all things. Because truth be told the devil's biggest fear is being cast aside as a forgotten relic and symbol of a failed attempt to dethrone our father,” says Cyle.
Beyond his faults, Cyle is adored by our community of advocates. He has a huge heart—giving away what he has to help others—and an infectious personality. He loves God and wants to live his life redeemed and free.
Join us as we cheer Cyle on--out of homelessness and into recovery and the new community he longs for. If you know him, encourage him. If you don't, give a thumbs up and maybe even, get to know him. We all have a story to tell.