I know the routine – I’ve seen it more times than I can recall or count. After getting into my truck, before I could get my seatbelt over my chest, I saw him approaching like an oversized mosquito. I let the seatbelt go in case I needed to be mobile and watched him as he walked toward me, cautiously approaching, and trying to get me to roll my window down.
The dark hair and eyed early twenties kid’s tee-shirt and jeans hung on him like a skeleton. His black hair, not long, but six months past caring. The other kid lurking behind him about twenty feet and hugging my blind side was healthier looking and better kept.
I turned to eye them both closely as I rolled my window down, fully aware of the line of manure that would be forthcoming. “Excuse me, Sir? – My brother and I have to be somewhere downtown and we just need a little gas to get there, can you help us out?” The frail spokesman asked.
I try to help people, I think it’s what we’re called to do. My heart broke for that young man and the other one who wouldn’t look me in the eyes and was obviously not the beggar spokesman’s brother. My compassion wasn’t for them because they were stranded and needed gas – I knew there was no car and nowhere to go… except to the dealer to get their fix.
I struggle to find patience with liars and drug addicts, which seem to be synonymous… The kid’s rotted front teeth in his young head revealed a serious addiction to crystal meth and there’s no telling what those kids would do to get more. The kids forfeited their pride and self-respect long before he began to use his natural personality and charm to con people out of money to support his habit.
The other emotion was anger toward the brazen punk. While God loves him and made him special, he looks like all the rest of the army of youth infected by the drug epidemic in this country. For decades every business I know of personally, including my own, has been ravaged by the mosquito like zombies.
I’m angry that the kid used his free will to ruin his life and most likely his family’s lives as well. His problem in my opinion stems from epidemic that’s plagued mankind since the original sin; selfishness.
Then my emotional pendulum swung back to compassion for a kid whose ruined his life. His chances of a normal life are slim. He’ll have the rarely controllable urge to destroy his body for the rest of his life, good chance he won’t be able to get control of the monkey on his back cleverly placed there by the enemy of his soul and his heart will be shot before he reaches middle age.
I looked at the kid wearing irritation on my face and disappointment in my voice, “No!” I answered. He immediately knew I knew he was a desperate drug addict. What’s worse – I know from experience that you can’t talk to one of the zombies when their mind is chemically altered.
I watched as the two desperate leeches moved toward their next prey, an elderly couple coming out of the coffee shop. I watched to make sure the desperadoes brought no harm to anyone but themselves and lamented the tragic waste of the wonderful gift of free will… something we all have in common…
My pendulum swung yet again as I considered the words, “But by the grace of God there go i.” The words in front of my face that I read daily sometimes still just aren’t enough of a reminder… And my heart breaks again…The pendulum of emotion swings
Those could be my kids…