Friday, October 19

I love it when...

...God does a miracle. And lets me participate. And then, just to top it all off, lets me see how love wins. Always.

From January to March of this year, Todd and I had a fairly regular visitor to our door. The first knock came when it was literally 2 degrees outside, and we were pretty much snowed in. Matt, we'll call him that because it's his name, knocked and offered to dig out the front walk. The help was well worth the money, so I hired him because a.) Todd was at work, and b.) I sure wasn't doing it when I could climb out if necessary. Hey, 2 freakin' degrees!

Matt was young, obviously homeless, and obviously drug addicted. It was also obvious that he still wanted to be proud of himself somehow, even in the midst of the very bad place his mind and body were living. After he was done shoveling, I paid him and asked where his shelter for the night was. He told me that he had a room for the night, and a few more dollars would pay for it, which is why he asked to shovel the walk. Because it was so damn cold, I told him to come in, be warm, and I'd bundle up then take him to his shelter. He refused, but I insisted, especially since this person was now in my home I couldn't in good conscience send him out to walk anywhere in that weather, wet from shoveling walks, and not the best coat I'd ever seen. Like, no way.

In the car on the way to "the shelter," he talked a little bit about where he went to college (an excellent school) and what sort of job he used to have (a well-paying one in a technical field). He said, "I bet you wonder how I got this way."

"No," I said, "I know how it happened. One of the most important people in the world to me is a recovering addict." I think he was a little surprised.

"What's so ridiculous is that I've relapsed. I was sober for seven months before I quit my recovery."

I told him I was sorry and asked him what was his drug of choice. "Crack."

"Honey, you're going to die," I said. "You already know where I live, here's my card. Call me any time of the day or night if you need to go to a meeting or can get into an inpatient program. I'll drive you."

Matt wasn't quite done beating the shit out of himself, and showed up probably six or seven more times over those three months. Once I knew what his drug was, we resisted giving him any more than a few dollars at a time, and just had him come in and talk and eat. My sweet chef fed him several times and made him feel welcome in our home, even though it made him so very sad. Whenever Matt came by, it left Todd with a deep sadness because his situation was so desperate, and seemed so hopeless. I was always thankful that Todd didn't prevent me from inviting him in and that he shared with Matt even though it made him sad. I always offered to wash or dry his clothes if he wanted, but he never let me.

The last time we talked, he was especially exhausted. He admitted that he wasn't going to keep his life up much longer, and he needed help. He told me he'd have to turn himself in, do 30 days for probation violation, and then get inpatient treatment. I asked him to please, please let me know when he got in.

We had never heard from Matt again, but Todd and I talked about him often, and I prayed for him a LOT. I talked about him to Tina and Terri, and he was never really far from my mind.

Friday, Todd and I were talking about him and hoping he'd gone into recovery and that's why we never heard from him anymore. I chose to believe that he had, but sometimes I was scared that he'd gotten high and wandered into traffic or something. I just hoped with all my heart that his parents had not had to lose him. I had no way to get hold of them or him.

Saturday, at about noon, the doorbell rang.

Since I was feeling under the weather that day, Todd answered the door, went out and pulled the door mostly shut behind him. A young, healthy, nice-looking, smiling guy said, "Hi!" Todd had no idea who this person was. He obviously thought Todd should know him. "You don't remember me, do you?" Then, Matt asked, "Is that Stacey in there?" Todd said he looked like he was about to cry, even through his smile.

"Matt! I didn't recognize you, man. Come in!"

I cried, I hugged him, we all tried to control ourselves. It was one of the happiest moments of my life. Matt said we had been on his mind a lot over the last seven months, and because he was working on his 9th step ("make direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others") wanted to come talk with us. He was entirely honest about his dealings with us in the past. I was absolutely inspired by how responsible he was in his conversation.

In addition to telling the truth about his past, we also learned that he's been doing the serious work of recovery since the middle of March, he's enjoying his life, has a nice car, a great job, and people he loves, including his parents. He's also pretty excited about his motorcycle.

He also thanked us for -- and this is the part that will stick with us forever -- treating him with love and humanity when people were looking at him like he was a shrub.

He asked if there was anything he could do to make amends for the lies he had told, and for showing up unexpectedly so many times. We assured him that he was doing just that by letting God take over, healing his addictions, and living the beautiful life that he was meant to live. He wasn't satisfied with just that, and left a gift for us, as well.

The sweetest gift, though, was the letter he left telling us that he understands life to be what "you showed me" at the beginning of this year: love for and service to others.

I have never been so humbled or thrilled to be a very tiny part of someone's miracle.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"You must behave as if your every act, even the smallest,
impacted a thousand people for a hundred generations... because it does."
-- Müller

5 comments:

Little Pink Purses said...

living out of love
warmth
empowering spirit
caring
possibility
love
inspiration
motivation
freedom
awesome giver of love and energy
role model
outward-focused heart

You give people hope.
Your arms are so open.
You are what people aspire to be.

Perhaps Habib said it best: You are a powerful, radiating energy...a giver...a soft-hearted woman who is passionate, compassionate, loving and giving.

Tasty said...

Thank you, baby. It's still God's and Matt's miracle, I just got to play along. Love you!

christelpistol said...

and i know i have said it dozens of times, but just so you can see it in black and white....


"if you weren't my friend, i would be doing EVERYTHING in my power to be yours"


you are amazing and i love you.

Allie said...

read what christel said again and put my name at the end of it.

christelpistol said...

hey face, ya know i feel the same way about you too, right?

 
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