A young friend of mine’s best friend from high school died a few days ago. Suicide. Early twenties. Relationship difficulties complicated his rehab progress. Another example of the enemy coming but to lie,steal, and destroy. I believe Jesus came that we may have life, and have it more abundantly, but as the poet John Donne wrote, “Any man’s death diminishes…” us all.
My friend cried while telling me how horrible he felt not being able to reach his friend while heroin use took him further and further toward destruction. He wondered what, if anything he might have said or done to help his friend achieve and maintain sobriety. I held him and told him to feel everything, and raise his kids. I doubt there is a modern family among us that doesn’t have some version of this story line. Addiction is not fiction, but it is not the truth of who we are meant to be.
I’m clean twenty years plus, lots of people are, and more and more of us need to be. When I was using I couldn’t imagine a day without getting loaded. What fun would that be? How could I feel special,unique, clever, superior, connected, etc. unless I was high? I went to meetings. I met people who knew my insides better than I did. I put the drugs down and began a process of not putting people down to make myself feel taller. It’s a process we could all use more of, especially where we might intersect the fragile.
Life and death is in the power of the tongue. Telling someone you love them helps them believe it. Of course actions speak louder than words, but words are the bullets and bandages in the battle of the mind. Tell someone you love them today. Tell yourself. Tell me.
Jesus loves you, I love you and, the list goes on and on and on from there. Take some time to add a few names to the list. It could be the best thing you do today, tomorrow, and the day after that. Don’t let yesterday accuse you of not ‘being there.’
Be. Hear. Now.