Today was hard.
It didn’t HAVE to be, but it was.
I went to a funeral. Funeral’s are always hard. Today’s was especially difficult.
This was #5. In about as many years- not just funerals I attended— but specifically, funerals where drug and (or) alcohol abuse caused the early death of someone I knew and cared about, whether directly or indirectly. OK folks, look around- I’m a typical suburbanite. Drugs are everywhere.
This time it was an acquaintance. Previously there have been funerals for relatives. Sadly- this probably won’t be the last.
Truth is… I didn’t HAVE to go. I had plenty of excuses to “cover my Miss Nice Christian butt”… and still look “spiritual”.
I didn’t WANT to see this unnecessary pain, AGAIN. It makes me angry. Honestly- it infuriates me. Not just at the addict- though there is some anger there- I admit. But at a culture that STILL says— “it’s your business…. drugs and alcohol are a choice….” And yes-angry at a devil that wants to rob, steal and destroy all that God has for you.
Truthfully- it also makes me angry at a God who allows us to make stupid choices. God and I have gone around about this many times….. He always wins- as He’s God and I’m not. But, I don’t have to like it. Nor, (I believe) does God.
Freewill. We can choose. It’s true. And, While I can appreciate the theology that understands this as part of life.. part of me still says— “Come on, God just ZAP us and make us do the right things…..”
A few years ago- the movie “Bruce Almighty” came out….it was funny when Bruce said the same thing….
Bruce: God is a mean kid sitting on an anthill with a magnifying glass, and I’m the ant. He could fix my life in five minutes if He wanted to, but he’d rather burn off my feelers and watch me squirm.
I believe God is Onmipotent. Yet- He with-holds that power- when it comes to crossing the line of our free will. The movie has a pretty good scene that describe this. In this scene- God-(really Morgan Freeman- (who I loved in the role… something about that voice….) and “Bruce” are laying the rules for Bruce’s “reign” as God—
God: Parting a soup is not a miracle, Bruce. It’s a magic trick. A single mom who’s working two jobs, and still finds time to take her son to soccer practice, that’s a miracle. A teenager who says “no” to drugs and “yes” to an education, that’s a miracle. People want me to do everything for them. What they don’t realize is *they* have the power. You want to see a miracle, son? Be the miracle.
Do I believe it’s all “up to us?” Nope. Just read yesterday’s post….I believe, We need a lot of help. Sometimes God removes the craving, sometimes He provides counsel, treatment, sometimes- He allows the battle to end like it did for the funeral I went to today. Was it a “loss” in the God category? I don’t believe so.
I may, if I thought that this life, was all there is. I don’t. I believe the addict I saw in the coffin today, loved God, but didn’t/couldn’t/wouldn’t give up his drugs. I don’t believe it HAD to be this way, but it was, and God ended the struggle for him, permanently. There are no Drugs in Heaven, but there are previous addicts- released of their struggle there.
Is that the WAY to be free of the struggle? NOPE. But, sometimes- our choices take us places we never wanted to go, and didn’t HAVE to go. Like, death by overdose.
So, what’s my point?
Drugs and alcohol still KILL people. The people who die, were valued and loved- by God, and by families. The people left behind are hurting.
Those on the outside- we don’t know what to say, we want to avoid. We’re afraid of the pain. Don’t avoid.. the family of an addict. Be there- whether you want to or not. Help the “survivors” have courage to confront. Help them grieve their loss.
It’s not comfortable, but it’s important. You don’t have to know the answers…the bible makes it easier for us….
Roman’s 12 :15 says:
15Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.
My title was– there aren’t enough tears. Because that’s how I felt this morning. I wept with the grieving. and I didn’t like it.
Those who suffer loss due to alcohol and drugs, struggle with complicated grief…… the questions are hard- you don’t have to answer them. Just be there to HEAR them. Weep with them. When someone comes out of their addiction…. rejoice with them!
If you know someone- who’s using… don’t give up. Keep confronting.
While I can’t understand the addicts experience. I can understand the families.
See, My Dad has been in recovery for almost 17 years. There are things that our family lost- permanently because of his substance abuse, relationship struggles…. etc.
Sobriety, like salvation… doesn’t “make everything all better”… but- I can tell you this… it’s better than attending a funeral. My Dad’s road to recovery was rocky, and covered in debris. I bear some scars of shrapnel. But, we didn’t give up. And, I’m glad, that, when he was ready, God was there, to help.
It wasn’t too late. That , gives me hope for others.
If you’re an addict, reading this— it’s not too late, for you.
Another scene in Bruce Almighty… God had been “posing” as a janitor…….and says to Bruce…
God: No matter how filthy something gets, you can always clean it right up.
It’s true. We make messes… then need help to clean them up. God knows and understands our struggles… He’s not up there with a “magnifying glass…” waiting to “fry our antenae off”…..everytime we mess up.
Hebrews 4 says it like this:
“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”[d] 8For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. 9There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. 11Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.
12For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
Jesus the Great High Priest 14Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens,[e] Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. 16Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
My point is this- if you’re an addict- GET HELP NOW. Right NOW. It’s not too late.
Alcohol- affecting your life n a way you don’t want?
click here NOW. Go to the closest meeting TODAY. It’s not too late.
Narcotics? Drugs? Click here- NOW. Please. Before it’s your funeral.
Find a church. Ask God to help. AGAIN. Get help. Keep trying. Keep trying. Keep trying.
God wants to help. It’s not too late. But, tomorrow may be. To my knittin friends: who want to DO something to HELP.. those who struggle with addictions… click here:
scroll to March 2.
Read, then SHOP your Stash for Charity.
Send it here:
Send stuff to:Kathy Duffy, Social WorkerInterim House Inc.333 W. Upsal St.Philadelphia PA 19119
Read about it here:KnittingLadies – Knitting Crochet Program at Interim House – blog started by Kathy to document her clients’ crafting successes