Published June 21, 2016

Shelia Shares

The following is a powerful article by Jim McComas. Jim is Director of Church Revitalization with Free Will Baptist North American Ministries in Nashville, Tennessee. May this true-life story teach all of us to see people as God sees them and to reach out before it is too late.

- Shelia
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"Perceptions"
by Jim McComas

I can remember it very distinctly. It was around Christmas time in our little village of Creston, Ohio, and I had made a late night run to our local Dollar Store for a few items.

Inside, I met up with a young man that had been in my religious education classes in school and had graduated with my son. I knew that he had struggled with drug addiction, and was sure that when he saw me, he would either ignore me or turn and go the other way.

To my surprise, he recognized me and immediately came up to me. He couldn't have been any nicer. He asked about my family, we talked a little bit about what was going on in his life, then he shook my hand and said, "It was good to see you, Mr. McComas."

That young man taught me a valuable lesson that night: Sometimes we ignorantly classify and write off young people caught up in drug addiction as "the bad kids." Then, when a child we classify as a "good kid" gets involved in bad behavior, we often say that they just "got in with the wrong crowd."

The fact of the matter is, in reality they are all good kids – somebody's children and grandchildren. Good, kind, well meaning people, who just got introduced to a deadly poison that was way more powerful than they ever imagined.

By the way, it's not just young people who get caught up in the deadly power of drugs. There are many adults who you work side by side with or sit in the church pew with on Sunday who battle this tremendously powerful addiction as well.

You see, it's easy to write off those in the drug culture as "those bad people" — until the day you come face to face with the fact that drugs have come to your doorstep. It's you, your child, grandchild, mom or dad or close friend who is battling addiction.

When that day comes, I can assure you that your perspective will quickly change.

The reason that I write this post is because that young man who I met that winter night in the Dollar Store and his family are heavy on my heart today.

You see, he had made plans recently to finally win the battle over his addiction and was scheduled to go into rehab this week.

He did not make it. He passed away Wednesday morning.

My heart breaks for his dear family and friends. I wish I could tell him what a difference he made in my life that night, and how he helped me to be less judgmental and a lot more compassionate to those who are struggling with demons that I will never fully be able to comprehend.

I don't really know if I'm writing this for me or for those reading. But, all I would ask you is this; the next time you read or hear of another young person heading to jail on drug charges, heading to rehab or even overdosing, maybe instead of saying something negative, how about just whispering a silent prayer for them and their family, who are suffering through a hell you cannot imagine.

Do it for me. Do it for Dillon.
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(Article above used here by permission.)

Comments on this? shelia@thegospelgreats.com.

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