Forget the Fire and brimstone

I have two situations to share with you today. I’ll warn you in advance – don’t expect any humor in either story. Do expect some lessons in life and the hereafter.

Situation one: A boy becomes a drug addict while still in high school. He’s the youngest child in a very good Christian family. All of his siblings grow up to be people in whom their parents and other relatives can take great pride. This boy becomes the ‘black sheep’ who is avoided in all but the most private conversations.

As a young adult, the drug addict impregnates a girl and becomes a father. All the while, he is unable to hold a job for any length of time because of his habit. He steals to support his habit and is frequently arrested. (In once instance,  he was arrested for shoplifting while using his toddler daughter as a shield.)  He borrows from loan sharks and must constantly return to his father to beg – not for forgiveness, but for money.

His father, by this time, is retired and living on a fixed income. Between bail bondsmen and loan sharks, the father is soon in a position where he must borrow from friends and family to continue to help his wayward son.

While the drug addict son is taking an emotional toll on the entire family, an even worse problem is eating away at his father. Cancer has invaded the father’s body. That cancer eventually leads to an extremely painful death.

The drug addict son is terribly shaken by the death of his father, but is basically shunned at the funeral. His siblings and mother blame the son for the death of his father. Intellectually they know the son had nothing to do with the cancer, and yet they cannot let go of the emotional belief. Everyone knows that stress can lead to terrible health problems.

As for the drug addict’s obvious distress over the loss of his father, his siblings and mother can’t help feeling that the boy’s only regrets are based on losing his enabler.

In the years following the father’s death, the wayward son has continued to be in and out of trouble. He claims to be clean of his former habit, but a person with a record of lying, cheating, and stealing is not easy to believe. To this day, his mother becomes emotionally upset in his presence.

Situation two: Pastor Kerry Maurer related this story as part of a recent sermon.

I woman came to see him about her drug addict son who had tried to commit suicide several times. She was terrified that her son would eventually succeed and spend his eternity in Hell.

Pastor Kerry explained that he asked the woman to close her eyes and imagine her son standing before God… facing his final judgment.

Then he asked her to picture herself sitting next to God and watching the proceedings.

This caused the woman much anguish and many tears, but she finally was able to regain her composure and picture the scene in her mind’s eye.

Pastor Kerry then asked the woman to tell him what she saw happening.

She said she couldn’t just sit there and watch. She went to her son and hugged him close to her.

Pastor Kerry then asked her what God was doing.

“He’s hugging both of us.” was the woman’s response.

She was now crying tears of joy as she came to recognize that God’s love for her son was even more powerful than her own.

——————————————————————————————–

The mother in the first situation may never come to see her son in the same way as the mother in situation two. However, I believe she needs to do that for her own sake. She must let go of the thoughts that her drug addict son caused her husband’s death and ruined her family. She needs to look at the other children and see how fortunate they are to have such fine young adults that were raised by them.

In the meantime, I believe that both situations provide food for thought and should make people realize that fighting a losing war on drugs isn’t just costing taxpayers billions of dollars, it’s tearing families apart.

If all recreational drugs were legal, their pureness would be better controlled and the billions of dollars generated by drug trafficking would be taxed. The tax money could then be spent on recovery programs – which have been proven to be more successful than arrests and jail.

Both young men might have received help. One may have gotten his life in order long before his father’s death. The other might have seen a purpose in his life and not made multiple attempts to end that life.

Unfortunately, with the politicians who are supposed to be representing us, the likelihood of legalized drugs has as much chance of becoming a reality as the Fair Tax.

They’re more concerned with getting re-elected than doing what’s best for our nation.

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