February 20, 2016

The Gift of Wisdom! Beautiful Message ♥ Pt 2 of 3

The Gift of Wisdom
[James 3:13-14]

Bob is an alcoholic, a drug addict, a burglar, a thief, and con man. He is also a father of two children, a happily married man. In his book, Beyond the Yellow Brick Road: Our Children and Drugs, he tells his story of how he came to accept the gift of wisdom……….He says,

“At one point I actually counted the number of times people tried to help me get off drugs…31!!! My parents tried of course and failed. Teachers were equally unsuccessful. A neighbor and friend of the family begged me with tears in his eyes to stop for the sake of my parents; I didn’t. I tried a Christian group that told me to read the bible and everything would be fine. But at that time I was so sick and my eyes were so bad that I couldn’t have read the bible if I had wanted to; which I didn’t. Christian groups failed to help me. I tried methadone. The doctors at John Hopkins thought that getting high on that bitter stuff you wash down with Tang would be better for me than heroin. I always had the impression that doctors prescribed methadone so addicts wouldn’t go out and steal their television sets. A chemical substitute for junk is certainly no solution for the addict. Methadone treatment is a bad joke.

I tried behavior modification, psychoanalysis, chemical therapy, hypnosis, confrontive therapy, and numerous other methods. My experience in rehabilitation ranged from comic to tragic to frustrating to down right bizarre….NONE WORKED. Thirty one attempts to cure me failed…BUT the thirty-second time was a different story….  - Beyond the Yellow Brick Road, p12-13

Bob goes on to tell about that 32nd time. He had begun eating lunch at the Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church across the street from Rice University where he was working on the grounds. And each day at lunch Father Charlie came by and made small talk. Bob writes:

“I had no idea what to think of the man. I wasn’t particularly interested in him, but he seemed to be interested in me. EVERY DAY he would come over to my table and talk with me while I ate. One day I was eating by myself when someone called out, ‘Phone call for Bob’. I figured it was probably a cop, so I pretended I didn’t hear. A fellow worker pointed me out, so I went and took the call. It was Father Charlie.

“I’m sorry I missed our appointment today,” he said. Appointment, I replied? We had never made an appointment. Charlie went on to apologize profusely for having been tied up. I told him that it was OK and that I would see him tomorrow.

And then just before we hung up, he added, I just wanted to say that I love you.

Very strange thing to say, I thought. I hung up the phone and walked to my table thinking, “I know he is not gay; I’ve got no money, so he’s not trying to rip me off; there is nothing a bum like me has to offer him. What does he want? Why does he say he loves me? I couldn’t figure it out. But every day I came back to that cafeteria to see Charlie. And I knew that I was coming for one reason and one reason only….I SO WANTED TO HEAR HIM SAY IT AGAIN!

And so, Bob slowly began to get his life back together again as he received and responded to the gift of acceptance from Father Charlie. His soul was strengthened and his self-esteem began to soar.

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