Every few weeks I lead a Sunday morning bible study at a local drug recovery center. Typically, my father in law leads this ministry but when he’s out-of-town or too busy I’m his back up teacher. I never turn down the opportunity.
Some of the faces I see again and again, but many are new. After jail time served this live-in program tries to prepare the recovering addict for life normalcy and a steady job. After three months or so most have met their counseling hours and legal court ordered requirements and they are given tentative freedom apart from the structure of the house.
All the faces at the study, men and women, are worn and marked by hard living no matter how young they are.
I used to wrestle with what message I could bring to these weary souls.
The extent of my illegal drug intake was a brief stint of youth binge drinking. I never served hard time for anything, just a few hours of community service for “underage consumption of alcohol.” Spring break court got me off easy.
The stories of these struggling addicts testifies of meth labs, broken families, prostitution, theft, and strings of court proceedings.
I’ve found I don’t need to pound much on their sinfulness and wickedness. The fallout from their fallen nature is all too evident to them. They’ve been pegged mercilessly by the curveballs of life. It’s all staring at them in the mirror every morning.
They know their grave error(s). They’ve made a shipwreck out of their lives, their families, their careers. They’ve abused the trust of those who love them most They’re at this voluntary weekly bible study because they’re well aware of all this.
The Law misapplied would only exponentially add to the guilt they daily carry.
So I don’t speak much at all about addiction or how to be a better parent, church member, or law-abiding citizen. I can’t offer much in the way of witty sounding psycho babble and I’m not qualified to lead them up the mountain of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
I choose to speak about grace.
I speak about a Father who adopts rebellious children, regardless of dark pasts, A Father who supersedes and perfectly satisfies the deep intimate family craving they’ve felt since an infant.
I share what it means to be adopted by a King.
What it means to be an heir of His Kingdom.
What it means to have an elder brother sacrifice His life for us.
What it means to be a child.
I don’t know if that is exactly what they need or want to hear. I know it is the best news I can muster up for bruised reeds who are already broken.
Their addiction doesn’t have to be the all consuming label of their lives. The Father of Addicts sees them through the lens of His perfect Son’s blood. And they likewise are perfect.
Precious children forevermore.
10 thoughts on “The Father of Meth Heads”
Good strategy. When they are more like Zacchaeus and know they have a sin problem and desperately want a solution, you can quickly go to grace. When people are like the rich young ruler they need the law to know they have a problem. My prison ministry experience sounds a lot like what you encounter there.
So good….people don’t need to be reminded of their problems. We are all too aware of our problems, even those of us who seem like we have it together. Jesus doesn’t see problems…He sees PEOPLE. He protects and provides because He is gracious. Grace heals. I love your post today. Way to go on being a messenger of grace.
I am so glad to know that you are a part of my children’s life.
Glad to be a part of them Keith!
I ministered there for 3yrs with your father in law. Loved every minute, then started a women’s ministry there with hm as the head and covering. He loved being a man with his own women’s ministry. It is a humbling honor to be a part of their lives, even for a little while, and share the love and grace of God with them.
Awesome Robin, never knew that! Thanks for sharing!
Beautifully written. I worked with meth addicts for over a year and it’s sad to see the devastation addiction has brought to them. It’s beautiful what you do for them. They need to hear about grace. They need to know that they are loved right now. Right where they are.
Mercy – something we all need more of. Both giving and receiving..
This to me is Very personal. It has been almost two yrs since my youngest brother ran off to Vegas with quite frankly, a witch. He is now a meth addict, has overdosed 4 times and is obv in a very, very dark place. He has cut off all contact with us, but sometimes is in touch with my oldest brother which is why I know even this much. It gives me Hope to hear that there are those that will and Do minister to these people, for they are so lost, and yet nothing is lost that God cannot find. I have turned my brother over to God, and I pray for him often..
Thank you for sharing and keep up your work.
Thanks for sharing your story, sounds heart rending. I pray God keeps chasing your brother down in Jesus name.