In our tiny rural Village,(yes village) nestled in Nova Scoatia Canada, we, like everywhere else, have our "village drunk", "village idiot"... and our village's "hopeless cause". Everyone, from one end of our village to the 20 minute drive to the other know this "hopeless cause" by name.
Every now and then, someone, usually a church congregation, puts their hearts on their sleeves and tries their best to change this man's life. But why?
This man was neglected by his parents his entire life. He was abadonned by both his parents while he was yet a young boy. His father left the family and eventually his mother, (with this poor boy's two sisters.) He was left to survive on his own in a rat infested shack, and he was still afraid of the dark.
This boy became a young man in the company of those who accepted him, those who partied with him and those who took advantange of him. It was no surprise that he had no lack of company while he had his own place. His friends acquainted him with drugs and alcohol and unfortunately this young man began using pot to forget his sadness and feel like a super hero.
In time many of his teenage friends eventually matured, got educated, started working and began families of their own. He did all the same things they did except mature and get educated. His extra curicular activities turned into addictions, which still consume him to this day.
He cleaned up some, and during this time he began a family. He and his girlfriend welcomed a baby girl to this world, and a few short years later they added another daughter to their family. Things soon began to go south as he returned to his old habit of drugs and alcohol. (With a few wax and wanes.)
At one point this man was on a good run, clean and sober, I would enjoy talking with him. (He is truly a sweet, but tortured soul.) Hehad quit drugs cold turkey, and I was cheering him on. He didn't stay on the straight and narrow for long. When he would showed up at the cafe high I would ignore him. I was so angry with him, so much so, I rejected his kindness just like a stubborn child. (I'm am by no means condoning running up to strange drug users with open arms, but I've known this man for years.)
For months and months he would enter the cafe (where I work), and I would roll my eyes at him in disgust.
Snap! What was I doing? I rejoiced with him in his victories, yet rejected him when he needed someone the most. I was so disappointed in myself.
Recently this man had to have part of his lung removed due to his crack addiction and 30+ year old smoking habit. Scared straight, he has been clean from crack and pot for a few months now but admits to having a few drinks to calm his nerves. He has spent his entire life drowning his troubled soul through the use of drugs and alcohol, so it's no surprise that he must be feeling raw with emotions that he doesn't know how to deal with.
Last week I brought him with me to bible study. He admits that he doesn't feel worthy of God's love because of his repetative sinful nature. I remimded him that if someone needs to be perfect to accept God as their savior, nobody would be worthy. I'm hoping and praying that he will continue to thrive. He is a hurting man.
I will choose to be there for him when he needs someone, no matter how I feel.
I can live with disappointment, but not that within myself, especially if I've already learned my lesson once.
Author of comtemporary childrens' books dealing with realitic and social issues.
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