Sunday, September 23, 2012

My Samaritan Friends

"And he sat down and called the twelve;  and he said to them, 'If anyone would be first, he must be last of all'   To better illustrate this teaching, He took a child, and put him in the midst of them; and taking him in his arms, he said to them, 'Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me;  and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me'.

This is a passage from today's readings which illustrates that if we humble ourselves to embrace those who are of little importance in the world's eye, we are in essence embracing Christ himself and His Father who sent him. 

This passage has come to mean a great deal to me.  Before I was a mother of a recovering addict I understood this passage.  But, now, I feel so many levels and nuances of this passage that I never experienced before; it is hard for me to illustrate, but I will try.

My son is working (this time) on four months of sobriety.  Total sobriety from drugs AND alcohol.  It is a first time for that.  He still smokes but he has gone father and worked harder at his sobriety this time than ever before.  He attends NA and goes to mass.  He is doing a lot and his family is very proud.  We are also very tired.  Four months while great, is but a short distance of travel on sobriety's road. 

Four months means that he's working very hard but he still has panic attacks.  He's still very emotional.  He isn't always able to sleep at night so he will nod off in the day causing others ( me included) to think he is using again.  His behaviour is not typical for a 23 year old.  He is emotionally behind.  Sometimes it is embarrassing.  Sometimes my pride gets in the way.  It is the ugly truth.  I am not proud of myself.

Yesterday we (son and I) had a conversation about people knowing that he is a drug addict.  He said that he understood that I had to tell some people but he hated that some people know because it changed the way they behaved around him.  He felt like it marks him....forever.  It probably does with some people.

But, he went on to tell me about two families that we are friends with.  One family, we'll call our barn family and the other we'll call our godparent family.  Yesterday, we went to a horse show and the Barn family mom came up to him and hugged him.  She listened to him.  And, when he was a little off, you would never know it from her kindness, inclusiveness and love that she showed him.

Godparent family has been much the same.  He is welcome at their home.  They are happy to see him and they never judge him.  They are praying for him and he knows it.  They make a point of talking to him and touching him on the shoulder, looking him in the him dignity.

Both families have created for him, safety and love;  key ingredients to recovery.  Both families make my eyes tear at the kindness that comes so easily and naturally, making my fears of his behavior leave. 

We are a blessed family.  Today I am thankful for the gift of those in my life who will come last(and in so doing, are first) and embrace, drawing in, those who society sends away to the periphery.  I pray for all of our addicted loved ones and I say a prayer for Henry.


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