At a brand-spanking new shopping center, who expected to witness the aftermath of a drug overdose? As a fire engine, ambulance, and rescue SUV’s sped to a spot maybe twenty or thirty feet from my parked car, I knew something was up and I wanted to shield my young grandchild from getting too much information.
A young woman walked toward me – trying to speak, deeply shaken. She been the one to call 911. Returning to her car, she had discovered the body, and described what she feared: a young man was dead. What she had seen to confirm this, I am not sure. But, an hour earlier, I had seen a few young men –kids — smoking – they seemed like workers on a break; I paid them no mind.
A Nightmare in the Afternoon
Seeing up close what was left of this nightmare on a sunny June afternoon in suburbia was too close for comfort. But for God’s grace . . .
From a distance, I saw the EMT’s lift a young man into the ambulance – covered with gear to help him breathe. I hope he made it, and the witness was wrong.
When she returned from telling the EMT’s she was the one who made the 911 call, the young woman found out the young man’s mother was there –and had beheld her child’s struggle.
So, she asked me if I prayed. I said I did. So right then we did – especially for the EMT’s.
The experience seared my heart, making more real the depressing headlines of a new normal that too many of friends and families know. An overdose on such a splendid day – in such an upscale spot — who expects that?
Maybe we should adjust our expectations. None of us is immune. Overdoses are the menacing and growing reality of our lives. Our inability to overcome this scourge is scary.
Just say, No! was the mantra of the 1980’s; it may be common sense, but when did common sense keep any of us from seeking the dangerous euphoria that drugs and booze promise?
Saying No isn’t enough, but it’s a start.
God, show us how to protect our children – ourselves – from addiction – and how to help those who are caught in its deadly deceits – Help us all to say YES to the life you have for us.
Lead us not into temptation, Lord, and please deliver us from evil – for this battle is Yours.
Love in Christ,
Sober and Grateful