All weekend long I have been thinking about the loneliness and for some the abandonment the demon of addiction controls. How there is such good and bad. How there is happy and sad; so much joy on one side, while pain and suffering on the other side. This past Saturday Mary and I were shooting a wedding at the United Methodist Church off of Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis. The steeple on this church can be seen for miles and I’m sure at night most hurting would find a sort of peace just looking at it. To me it’s like a light house to the suffering trying to find their way home. At least to me church… Any church, there is hope for those who feel defeated. Saturday, before the wedding photos started, my heart stopped and I am so thankful Mary was there with me with total understanding of my breaking heart. There was this young man very ungracefully laying in the up and down position almost as if he had been dragging himself up the stairs before he finely passed out from whatever may be. I couldn’t stop staring at him as I was at a red light on Hennepin. My heart was pounding a hundred miles an hour asking Mary if she could tell if he was breathing. We were meeting our bride and groom at another location in down town Minneapolis and when the lights turned green I continued on to the parking ramp where I expressed to Mary how that bothered me so much. It broke my heart as a parent knowing that was someone’s child laying there. All these cars going by and no one stops to help. Had someone called for help or are we as a community so immune to this that no one cares because there’s too much of it? Is it that as a community or location there is so much that people have lost all compassion for the suffering? I know they are suffering. Trust me I know better and I also drove away, but it’s bothered me till even now. I’m writing about it… If it was a dog someone would have called… Someone. For those that say well a dog doesn’t know better and has no intent of being lost. Well neither does a young man who went the wrong direction in life, nor the mentally ill or the veterans that have lost their minds fighting for our country. They’re all out there.
Mary and I made out way back to that church as big as its own block and all day as I photographed this special day of someone’s life my heart hurt for the young man lying on the other side of that very same church having one of the worst days of his. I could only imagine the pain in his heart when he woke up; the shame he felt because I know the shame is something an addict never feels relief from. Even maybe as intoxicated as he was that steeple lead him to rest.
I know some would say that some of them don’t want help or will not allow others to help them, but I think my point is whether the lost allow the helping hand of others or not. We are not the judge of their destiny. God’s people pray for healing and prosperity. It is devilish arrogance to condemn or judge a child of God. I still find myself at times swimming in a pool of my own ignorant thought. Throughout the years of growing in my faith I did my best to live by Gods pages of goodness thinking I thought as a Christian I had a right to. I was a snob… Some struggle with other Earthly shame. I did judge addiction 5 years ago. Even in the beginning I blamed everyone else for this addiction. How could I? I am a loving mom; read all the books, brought them to church… How dare I be slapped in the face with this. I was wrong to judge this disease and more or less than cancer, heart disease, obesity, or anorexia. I just hope that if my exit off this Earth is as unexpected as a car accident that the ones judging my departure has a better response to my death than some have had with Grant’s. Well, that’s the consequences you chose getting into that vehicle.
Saturday lead me to many feels and thoughts of how I myself judged these sorts of situations in the past. Grant would have found compassion and went out of his way to check on this child of God. He has taught me to have compassion for a boy laying on that stair way to hope or the women on the next corner begging for money. Grant would say, “For whatever reason not everyone is lucky enough to wake up in their right mind every day. If you do count your blessing that is not your earthly war to face every day.”
Grant has taught me to ask God to help the helpless. He encourages me not to judge or discriminate a disease or hardship. There is not always something you can do to help, but a cry out to God for their sake when they may be to weary is something you can do on their behalf. There are so many gifts my boy continues to gift me with each day. They may no longer be the material things, but the greatest gift called love.