“I just didn’t know”

He was sitting with a group of kids new to town. They have come in together from Arizona in an old minivan, although they joined up on the road along the way. His name was "Sammy" and he's about 19 years old. Sammy didn't want anything, although most of the others took a sandwich, chips and some water. Sammy did want socks. As he changed socks, he began to tell me a little about himself.

These two sentences stuck out to me: "I kicked heroin by drinking alcohol. I just didn't know alcohol would be harder." He went on to tell me that he has had seven seizures in the past few weeks from alcohol withdrawal. 

"I'm tried to stop drinking, but I have seizures. So now I'm trying to reduce my drink. Today I've hardly had anything. Feel my forehead–it's sweaty and hot." As he told me his story, tears ran down his cheeks. "I don't want to be like this. I don't like my existence like this."

I explained that there were three ways to stop, and none of them are cold turkey without medical help. "Twelve Steps works for many people–the most, I would say. A thousand steps works for some–that is, slowly reducing and continually reducing the harm to yourself. And one step works for some people–that is, a radical healing by Jesus Christ through faith."

Sammy jumped in, "I'm a Christian. I love staying in the Word, but I lost my Bible." I handed him a new Bible. He grinned big, sitting on the sidewalk in front of me. He wiped away the tears. We talked some more about his options. Sammy has many barriers in the way to recovery, but he's working through it. Barriers include the street, his friends, a belief that he should be able to control his life and drinking, and a deep hatred of his life.

We need to pray with Sammy: "Lord, help me to admit that I have a deep-seated problem. Help me to admit that I cannot control my addictions, and that I must give them over to You. Help me to realize that You have loved me always and that I must begin to change and respond to Your love by living my life in a way that honors You." What a wonderful Christmas present for Sammy. Amen.

— Terry

"To know, love and serve street dependent youth."
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