Where can I go, when I’m addicted?
Betsy is an attractive middle aged blonde, living with her parents. In this economy it is difficult to make ends meet. Appearances are often deceiving. Besty had travelled from the mid-west, to take care of her parents: her father has senile dementia, and her mother just had surgery to remove a cancerous tumour, and has a feeding tube.
One day I heard a knock at the door. It was Betsy. Her hair was a bit dishevelled, she slurred her speech, and she was not steady on her feet. As she passed by, I knew the reason. She was drunk. I could smell it on her breath. God must have had a reason to send her my way. Like the prophet Nehemiah, I shot a “prayer arrow” (Neh 2:4-5) to God asking for wisdom.
She wanted to go to the store for more booze. She had the keys to her car in hand. But she realised that she could not drive. Okay God, what do I do now? Almost by instinct, we have a tendency to do a knee jerk response. We want to play junior Holy Spirit, and judge. I sensed that was not my role. That is NOT what God wanted. It was a “woman at the well” (John 4:1-26) scenario. There is an old saying: “In vino veritas.” In wine, there is truth. I have 2 ears and 1 mouth, so I did twice as much listening, than talking.
As I listened, I discovered that she was trying to take care of her parents by herself, with no respite (rest and relief.) My family reached a point with my Dad, where we could no longer provide for his care. I understood where she was coming from. Betsy’s mother is very critical of her, and did not appreciate the sacrifice. Her parents did not drive her to drink, but they contributed. Scripture warns parents not to exasperate their children (Eph 6:4)
I asked Betsy, what role God played in all of this? She said: “I can’t believe a loving God would allow my parents to suffer this way.” “Ahh” I muttered to myself: “The Disneyland Syndrome.“ For a moment, I was able to share good news. I gave her a card for an online church, which she can access from her computer, on her schedule. God opened the door, just a crack.
There are many people who are on the fringe of society. Drunk, poor, addicted, gay, hiv/aids, lonely, widowed. Where can these people go? I could have just shut the door, instead God provided an opportunity to share the good news.
can i take my addictions into your theology
is it big enough to feel my pain
or will i stain your glass
with street smells and sweat
and where can i go
and where can i go
when i’m addicted?
Steve M. – outcastpress.org