Addiction Is Everywhere-Stop Running From It

By Amber McChesney

Addiction is everywhere Stop running from it!

I saw her right away. She was dirty…had skimpy clothes on. Pale and thin. She was walking around the parking lot aimlessly, searching for someone to help her reach the goal of her next high.

Her veins were covered with bruises. She looked like someone who “normal” or “good” people should be afraid of. I can’t take my eyes off her.

Her eyes…they are empty. Big…bloodshot…black underneath, probably lack of sleep along with the damage from the hell she is caught up in.

The woman who was talking to me stops in mid-sentence and looks at her in disgust. She motions for another employee to call the police, they can’t have such trash around their business.

My mind immediately whispers. What if she knew my past…would she be afraid of me? This broken, empty, shell of a woman who is walking around outside …has never crossed my path before. I have never spoken a word to her…yet I know her so well.

Under the belly shirt she is wearing I see stretch marks across her stomach where she carried a human life……she is someone’s mother.

I don’t know her name, but I know her fears, her pain, and I can feel the emptiness inside of her soul. For a split second, we make eye contact and I swear at that moment chills swept over my body.
I wanted to take her pain…just erase the demon that has overtaken her body. Her mind…her life. I don’t feel afraid of her…I don’t judge her.

I want to run to her and save her. But I know I can’t. I see me in her. I look at the terrified employee, who has talked to me like I am one of the “normal” ones, and I say to her…. I was her. Don’t judge her, pray for her…the shame she feels day after day is worse than anything you can put on her. She just nodded and smiled.

It’s funny, we’ve spent so much time arguing not long ago about a flag. We’ve put so much effort into “fixing” that problem.
Why can’t we all come together and try to conquer a demon that is taking over the world our children are growing up in?

Addiction is everywhere you go. If we stopped running from it, maybe we could make a difference. It takes ONE person to make a change.

Never judge something that you know nothing about. If you can’t step up to the solution, keep your mouth closed about the problem. 😔

Constant Flame

And the fire upon the altar shall be kept burning thereby, it shall not go out. Leviticus 6:5

There is a tradition that interprets this verse as a specific warning against the fire on the altar going out even under conditions where one might reason that it should. No never, even if it travels or other obstacles present themselves we are ready and do not allow ourselves forced into bad decisions. Much like our spiritual renewal, we must make the choices that keep it alive.

On a deeper level, this verse also speaks to the person about the “flame” – that is the passion – that burns on an internal “altar” in our heart. We must always be enthusiastic in the service of our Maker. Apathy, depression, sloth and other “cold” emotional states are antithetical to being of true service to our Higher Power.

It is easy to keep the fire in our heart burning as long as we are in our routine and the comfort of home, but we cannot become complacent and think that s just because we are away, and it is more difficult that we can let it slide. After all who would know? We would and so would our God. We do it for the peace of mind we give by constantly having that flame alive to keep us in touch with the Power of the Universe.

We carry it wherever we go; there is no situation too lofty and none too bleak that precludes our constant need for exuberance, joy and warmth.