I had two realizations this week: Cats can fly! Just look at my boy cat Omar, lunkhead and adventure seeker extraordinaire. 🙂 We’re still not quite sure how he got up on our neighbor’s roof!
The second was more of a question.
During dinner with my friend Christine, we talked about places to possibly go for missions trips, in the future. It seems we typically think of third world countries with no running water, an abundance of flies, foul odors and famine; upon hearing the words ‘missions trips’.
In 2014, with the ever increasing problem of heroin addiction that decimates lives in Northern Kentucky and an area of Cincinnati known as Cheviot; a weird thought crossed my mind. I wondered if someday churches might start sending people to Cincinnati and my figurative backyard of Cheviot to spread hope and the love of Jesus? Cincinnati a missionary’s destination? It’s a bit sobering to realize there’s an area of such despair virtually within walking distance.
Maybe I can begin my mission work without packing a bag or setting foot on a plane. Helping out in the soup kitchen at Vineyard Westside Church in Cheviot, my home church, might be a most worthy ‘mission trip’.
I suppose I want to toss the thought out there that there’s probably SOMETHING each of us can do, to make our corner of the world a less suffering place. We don’t have to wait until that far off day in the future to help. The world and its many nooks and crannies needs our help NOW.
Sometimes an acquaintance I call “Pain” comes knocking and The Serenity Prayer is all I’ve got to answer it with. Pain can visit for a moment or it can stay for years. This is one of those times. There is a person I love very much who’s chosen a life of drugs. If you’re fortunate enough to not know anyone who’s destroyed their life in this way, then this blog may not speak to you.
If you do know the living hell for the friends and family of a person who has chosen this path, then please bare with me while I do an open share.
I do not know what to do with this pain today. It’s nearly unmanageable. It seems like an oxymoron to say I’m feeling completely numb, but that’s how it is.
I’m not sure why I’m writing. Maybe because Pain is silently screaming out of my pores, making my eyes leak tears, it’s so hard to breathe and my heart feels twice as heavy as it physically is.
I can not choose another person’s actions. I can offer love, drive them to meetings and church; believe them over and over when they tell me they’re sober. Never mind that the words sound like the practiced speech of a parrot; their hollow face and stranger’s eyes tell me I don’t have a clue that I no longer know this person.
I naively thought in the past that because I had issues with eating and excess weight, I could somehow understand their plight. No, I do not. Food never cost me my family, multiple jobs, a place to live, trips to jail and the ER. Food didn’t turn me into a liar. Well, maybe I shouldn’t be so quick on that one. The last words weren’t a judgement on someone. They’re a: “I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY YOU DO WHAT YOU DO.”
This person is in intensive care as I write this. The memories of the person I used to hang out with and swore I loved unconditionally collide with the zombie who’s taken over my loved one.
I don’t know what to do. I reach for my serenity coin and repeat:
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.