My nephew was born about the time I got married. What’s it been, 38 years?
We watched him grow up and were part of each other’s lives. He was a sturdy youngster, quick moving, quite often moving before thinking.
As I write this, I see his smiling, gung-ho attitude.
Years of farm work, swimming, family dinners together. Until his late teen years. When he started abusing drugs. Fear, police, thefts, some good times but in his twenties, he grew stronger, scarier. Interventions, professional help, prayer, medications, ultimatums, seemed to be of no avail.
He threatened and hurt his mother, our sister, and the option to separate was tearfully accepted. He moved one state away and random phone calls to his parents were short.
So many questions. What a horrible mystery. I pondered the Psalms: “I cry to you, O Lord; I say, ‘You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.'”
And today, our sister called and said, “We just got a call, to learn that someone found Sean dead.”
I cried, simply cried. Not to God, for a living refuge. Not to Sean, for living such a hard life. Not to all the parents/people who struggle because of drug abuse and mental disorders. Not to myself.
I just cried. With no desire to blame, analyze, or get angry. I cry out my hope in a merciful life and relief in this life that never stops.
And then I saw the image of Sean when he was about ten. It’s a good image.
It reminded me that two days ago, I had the privilege of attending a church and listening gratefully to the guest speaker, a recovering heroin addict and alcoholic, sober, six years now. His message of fighting the good fight and keeping at the fight for good, remains alive.
I Timothy 6:12: Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.