I met “Abel” this week. He was with a group of new folks. They were very friendly and all seemed to be having fun, or so it seemed. However, he hung back and then sat down. He obviously was not having fun.
Abel has travelled for some time. However, during that time he found stable work in an profession that he is really gifted and passionate about. He saved money and returned to Texas. However, he’s bringing more back to Texas than a new profession and some money.
While travelling, Able got very addicted to a common street drug. he has overdosed and required medical attention a dozen or more times. The last time was Father’s Day of last year. He stayed clean since then. This is a great achievement for him!
However, Abel wasn’t happy today. He was obviously worried. I asked him to share and he confessed, “I used today. I so pissed at myself. I can’t believe I did this. My girlfriend is going to freak out.” But the fact was he had used, and he was thinking of using again. I assured him that his actions today didn’t take away all that he had accomplished in the last 9 months. “What you choose to do next is critical. Will you use again and again, or will you walk away from it today?” He simply didn’t know the answer to this question.
I asked, “Is faith something that can help you through this?” He stated , “I was raised as an atheist.” I assured him that didn’t matter, “We are all raised as something, but we can become something else.” I asked him if he felt there was any higher power? “I don’t know. I don’t see evidence for anything. Christians are just brainwashed. They say one thing and act another way. There’s the whole anti-gay thing. I just can’t do any of that.” I explained that we all fall short. We all do things we shouldn’t. “The important thing is to make a relationship with the God of Christianity. The rules, ‘do’s‘ and ‘don’ts‘ are only a small part of Christianity. The big part is so want a relationship with the creator of the universe and to accept him as real and personal.” Abel had many concerns and doubts.
I wondered what was going on that had brought Abel to this crisis. “What have you noticed about your feelings? Is something going on?” “My friend overdosed yesterday. A close friend in [another Texas city.] I just can’t deal with it. It has left me feeling like a hole has been ripped out of me.” I told him, “We all have a hole in us. And you’re trying to fill it with [drugs]. Some try to fill it with money, some with other things. But this is where Christianity comes in. You can make a relationship with the God of Christianity and he can fill this void. The evidence you seek for God will be how changed you feel when you let that happen.”
Abel had a lot to think about. He told me honestly that he wanted to feel the rush of [drugs] and that he still desperately wanted to use right now. But maybe he would just go home. I asked if I could pray for him, and he said yes.
I pray that Able fails to find [drugs] today. I pray that Able remains safe today. I pray that Able asks God to fill the hole he finds in his life… to fix the hurt of the emptiness of living without God. I pray that Able will return to me or other Christians able to help him make a connection with Jesus. Amen.