Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Conversation with a drug addict
The weeks continue to fly past amazingly fast. Oh, I know time moves at the same pace but the perception of it changes as we get busy or with memory issues. Regardless, it is Monday again. We had our first official freeze this morning though it was a pretty light one and I saw no visible signs of it through my cursory glance at things when I went outside. Later I will look more closely at the corn but suspect it will be fine.
The diesel truck is again parked. There is an electronic part called a “PMD” that controls the injector pump and it is known to fail quite often. The truck had been stalling out as I ran down the highway or sat at a light and it is getting steadily worse. In fact it is potentially dangerous now because if the truck decides to stop running in the middle of an intersection or in traffic that could get serious. I went online and learned much about it in a diesel forum talking with others who own the same kind of Chevy diesel (6.5 engine). They recommend moving this part to a cooler area as where it is right now, under the intake manifold on the motor, is extremely warm and this contributes to it’s failure. So it is not easy to get to. A new PMD can cost a couple of hundred bucks so I am looking around for a used or cheaper one. I was warned about the ones that come from China so will avoid that.
As we left our Sunday school class yesterday we ran into several people we know from various places. One had been involved with the Kairos prison ministry and another was in a home group we began attending just a few months back. They were having a lunch celebration for veteran’s day so invited Cherie and I to attend. Turns out that one of them had just been praying regarding a need they had with their ministry in a federal prison and I came to their mind. I don’t believe in accidents and am firmly convinced that God puts things together so am looking forward to what comes of this. During the luncheon we met the leader of that Sunday school group and he expressed interest in us giving our testimony. I am always happy to tell of what God has done in our lives.
We went back to the prison Saturday to follow up with the guys we had the privilege of sharing God’s love with during the Kairos event last week. It is always good to go back and see them, to see the friends we have made, and to help lead them into this life of freedom through God. There are always many questions they have. I got to talk with an old friend from the prison, one who’s nickname is “soldier”. He has acquired a master’s degree in theology and teaches some advanced bible studies in the prison.
Soldier told me that he had been praying regarding what I had shared about my desire to start a bible study and fellowship in Stanton, one aimed for those who are generally found to be less acceptable by the mainstream of Stanton society. What he then said surprised me a little. “Bob, it came to me that there is a businessman in Stanton who has a building he will let you use for the bible study and he will help you. What I feel is that you need to put this on the internet and he will see it”.
Soldier did not know I have this blog or anything like that so the internet thing was what surprised me. I already know there are many good people around who will encourage any efforts to reach those who are lost, however it seems that the enemy is good at blocking and causing division so we have developed few relationships in our six year here. If God showed this to Soldier then it will happen. Thus I have posted this brief little note about it.
There is always much to do, but that is the nature of farming I suppose. We get asked all the time “How are things going?”. I have learned that as a general rule folks who ask that do not want to hear a detailed response. In the early days of the brain injury I took all questions quite literally and would endeavor to fully answer such a question, often watching as they left in dismay after enduring more time than they had imagined such a question would have entailed. These days I keep it simple, saying we are doing well and that life is always filled with challenges.
For this journal I now keep things simpler. I do need to record things for memories sake but the memory is better than it once was. One of the people in the prison has survived multiple traumatic brain injuries and was in a coma for six or seven months, way longer than my short six week coma. It was no accident he had been seated next to me. After just a few moments I recognized the symptoms of a brain injury so asked “Have you ever been knocked out?” and thus confirmed my suspicions.
We stayed at a hotel while attending the Kairos weekend last week, paid for by a generous donor. I was talking to a lawyer, who was staying in the room next to mine, and explaining what Kairos is about when another guest of the hotel asked “Do you work with drug addicts?” “Sure, I have lots of experience there and will work with anyone” was my reply. He told me about his employee, who was also staying at the hotel, who had spent 2 days sick in bed instead of working. I suggested we go see him now so he walked to the room and introduced me.
The guy was in bed but sitting up. It only took seconds for me to recognize the tell tell signs of long term methamphetamine abuse as he did not have many teeth left and was quite emaciated. “I heard you weren’t feeling well” I started the conversation. I’ll call him Curly just to give him a name. Curly said he had the flu or something so I got straight to the point. “Look, I’ve lived the life, I know about meth, heroin, pretty much all of that, and I’ve spent a lot of time in prison for that life, so I know what’s up”. It did not take long before he confessed that he had been using a form of meth called Ice, a particularly nasty form of it made from battery acid and some other household products.
I told him about the love of Christ, how Jesus died so he could be set free of all those things. “Oh I talk to God all the time when I’m high” was his response. He expressed the belief that it did not matter what he did, God forgave him already. There are so many people out there who have received or created false beliefs that allow them to continue in life styles that lead to death it is heartbreaking.
We talked for a good 30 or 40 minutes as Curly detailed his wasted life. “I’m almost 29 years old” he said “and I have never owned a car or a house”. “I have a son, I love him but I don’t want him to see me like this” Curly revealed. He has warrants out for his arrest, he has biker gangs in a couple of cities out to hurt him, and he had already done some time in prison. I let him know several times that God loves him and anytime he wanted to surrender to Him he could be washed clean of all the past and could start on a path to a new life, one free of the drugs and problems. Curly expressed his doubts that he could escape his past and that he could be free of the addiction. “Curly, can you see any good coming from the path you are on now?” I asked. “No” was the honest reply. “So what do you have to lose by choosing to live for God?” was my next statement. “Nothing” Curly responded. “What do you have to gain?” I said, and Curly lowered his head as he considered the question. After a few moments he said “I guess I have everything to gain”. I told Curly “You have before you a decision to make. On one side is death and on the other is life. Curly, every day you have such decisions to make”. While he acknowledged that, he was unwilling to make a decision. It saddened me to watch this shell of a man be unwilling to give up the life that was killing him. I reached into my wallet and got one of our cards out. “Anytime you want out of the trap you are in let me know. Just call that number. I can find you the help you need” I said. Curly allowed me to pray for him. I pray for him on a regular basis now. Seeds of the truth have been planted. It is up go God now, and of course up to Curly.
I have work to do. Borrowed a wrecker from the mechanic so I can tow the truck with a bad transmission to his shop. Time to go.