Note: This post is based on a true story, however, since I didn't obtain permission from those I wrote about, I changed their names. I do not believe this takes away from the events which occurred. Scripture declares that, "The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. (NLTB) Drugs have been used as a tool to rob, kill and destroy families. I pray that the gift of life through Jesus Christ provide healing, deliverance and salvation to those who've been wounded by drug addiction.
“If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others on the hills and go out to search for the one that is lost? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he will rejoice over it more than over the ninety-nine that didn’t wander away!” (Matthew 18:11-13, New Living Translation Bible)
He sat there contemplating what to do with this news about his son. The news came as no surprise, still, it wasn’t the kind of news he wanted to hear. A childhood friend, who knew his son, thought he should know where and how he was living. The message kept repeating in his mind.
“I thought you should know where your son is. He’s pretty bad off.”
Those words summed it up all right. The father wrote down the address and sat there staring at the notepad. The words echoed in his mind again and again.
He’s pretty bad off.
Closing his eyes, he began to pray silently.
Father in heaven…Help me find my son. Let Your Spirit go before me and speak to his heart. Remind him of how he is loved and valued by You, his mother and me. I don’t know what to say, but I trust You to speak for me. You have a purpose for Him Lord. Pull him out of this gutter and show him true life. I ask this in the name of Your Son, Jesus. Amen.
He stood up, walked to the closet and grabbed a jacket. His wife met him as he walked from the bedroom.
“Who was that on the phone?”
“One of Ron’s school friends said he saw him tonight. I’m going to find him and talk.”
“I should go with you.” Her voice revealed the concern of a mother and wife.
He leaned in and kissed her. He would always do this when she needed assurance that everything would be alright; even when he didn’t know the outcome.
“No, you stay here in case someone calls.”
She looked into his eyes, searching for a clue. His smile always told her what she needed to hear.
Everything will be alright.
He kissed her a second time and said,
“I’ll be back soon.”
Then he disappeared out the door. She listened and heard the car engine starting and the gears of the chain lifting the garage door. She could hear his car drive off in the distant as the garage door began to shut.
Pulling into the parking lot, he quickly realized this was a place where one could indeed become lost. Trash littered the parking lot. There was an emptiness about this place; the word discarded came to mind. The lawn was just small patches of grass amid broken bottles, crushed cans and miscellaneous refuse. He reached into his pocket and opened the paper with the address and building number. He scanned the row of buildings, searching for some designation among the segmented units of horizontally connected homes. He could hear voices of children, the sound of music blaring, and a couple arguing loudly.
All these buildings look alike! He decided to ask someone for help. Walking up to a door, he began knocking.
“Who is it?” The voice answered as the door opened.
He looked at a young girl holding a baby.
“Hello? I’m looking for Ron. Do you know his apartment number?”
She turned her back to him and shouted a name.
“You know somebody name Ron?”
“Who wants to know?”
“I don’t know, come here and see.”
Finally, a young man approached the door.
“You the one looking for Ron?”
“Yes, I’m his father and I need to speak with him.”
For some reason, hearing the word, father seemed to make an impression on this young man; his demeanor turned respectful. He stepped out the door and said,
“I can show you where he usually hangs out.”
He silently followed this young man until they arrived at another building where the young man pounded his fist against the door.
A shirtless young man opened the door.
“What’s up Billy?”
“Hey man, is Ron in there? This is his father.”
“Yeah, he’s here.” The door opened, inviting the father to come in.
Turning to Billy, he smiled and said, “Thanks.”
As he entered the apartment, he quickly detected the smoke-filled fumes of marijuana. There were people sitting on the floor smoking; the room contained no furniture except for a small lamp that offered very little light. He followed the young man through the hallway, passing more dimly lit rooms. He could hear voices but was unable to understand any words spoken. As he entered the room at the end of the hall, he could see the faces of young men and women. They were just kids, sitting on the floor getting high. He noticed one of them holding a crack pipe and wondered,
What if the police raid this place? How do I explain being here?
As he looked around for his son, the young man walked up to a body, lying crumpled on the floor. Kneeling down, he spoke to the face supported by folded arms. As the face lifted up, the father could see his son. He waited silently while his son stood and walked toward him.
“Hey Daddy, what are you doing here?” His voice asked the question but his eyes refused to look up at his father.
“I came here for you son. I want to talk.” He looked at his son. Although he was now a young man, he could still see the face of that child who smiled with innocence. He didn’t come to berate him. Ron was lost and confused. It didn’t matter how or why; he needed help, even if he was too afraid to ask. He didn’t wait for Ron to reply.
“I don’t care why you’re here son, but it doesn’t matter. You weren’t raised to live like this. Your mother and I love you and we want you to come home and let us help you work things out. I know what it’s like to live for a drug and in the end, all you get is consumed; there’s no payoff.”
He embraced his son and whispered again.
“I love you Ron.”
“I love you too Daddy.”
As he held Ron, he began to pray. There was no resistance from Ron to escape his loving embrace.
No life is worthless to You. You see our coming and going. You love us with an uncompromising love. A love that required the sacrificial death of Your only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ. When we lose our way, You search for us, so that none of us remain lost. You call out our name, with the voice of a Loving Father. Your Word declares, "All whom My Father gives (entrusts) to Me will come to Me; and the one who comes to Me I will most certainly not cast out [I will never, no never, reject one of them who comes to Me]." You do this because You love us as it is written, "because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son." Thank You Lord for retrieving that one lost sheep. You are The Sovereign LORD, our Almighty God. Amen.
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