WE NEED TO LOVE PEOPLE WHEN THEY LEAST DESERVE IT
June 1, 2009 § 2 Comments
As part of my job as a Drug Counselor I did an assessment this past Wednesday. There is nothing unusual about that…it’s what I do. What makes one particular assessment on this particular Wednesday is the young man I was counseling. The appointment seemed to go as most do. As we ended, I gave him another appointment and he left…or so I thought.
About two hours later one of my colleagues came to me and asked if I was aware that the young man I had seen two hours earlier was in my room. I thought that surely there was some mistake. I had sent him home hours earlier. I went to my room just to verify that my colleague was mistaken. When I opened the door, however, there sat this guy on my bed. I asked him what he was doing in the room and he told me that he was talking to one of the guys who shares the room with me. In checking with my roommate I was assured while he had been talking to this guy, the conversation took place outside the building much earlier. I spoke once again to the “intruder” and asked how and why he was in my room. He gave me all sorts of excuses. At that stage I knew that he was telling lies and suspected he was out to steal something, which is a common problem with drug addicts and I, of course, know this first hand.
I had told the young man as part of the assessment that other parts of the Centre were off limits to him and that he was NOT to go into the rooms. It made me angry with him that he had deliberately defied me but I refrained from putting my hands on him and recalled the days not so long ago that I could have been the guy in that room looking to steal something I could sell to get my next stash of drugs.
The reason I was perhaps more upset than I would have liked to have been is that that was not the first time that sort of thing had happened, not with this guy but with other addicts that came to the Center for help. Not too long ago my mobile was also stolen along with some of my cash. And it was people coming to the Center ostensibly for help who stole those things and several others.
While speaking loudly to this guy I managed to maintain control of my emotions. Having my things stolen, particularly by someone I’m giving my time to help was a bit hard to handle. I guess it was particularly difficult because I don’t get paid to counsel these guys but receive only a place to live and a small amount of money for necessities. It takes me a long time to save to buy a mobile and without it communication is at best difficult.
Setting aside the pain of my losses I had to wonder, what if I was in his shoes in this moment? What if someone hadn’t been understanding and reached out a hand of friendship when I was on drugs? My heart goes out to all drug addicts and sometimes I have to place myself in there shoes because, as you know if you’ve been following the journal of my journey, I once stood were they now stand. Instead of getting rough with him or calling the cops, I apologized to him for raising my voice and asked for his forgiveness. I told him that we want to help him get his life back on track and that it was possible for him to kick his habit. Instead calling the cops, I gave him hope and let him know that I am here for him and will help him.
We need to love people when they least deserve it and are least lovable. I also had to ask God to forgive me for letting my flesh take over and feel anger like that. This young addict will be in my prayers and I trust that God will deliver him from his horrible drug addiction just as He did for me.