This morning I had my weekly breakfast with my dad. Well, I had breakfast (oatmeal) and Dad had his coffee. As we sat there, a guy came walking in and went up to the counter. I noticed the cashier’s face as he walked up to her. It was a mix of curiosity and fear. I could only see his back, but I could tell something was “up”. He didn’t stand still. He would wipe at his face with his arm and acted like he couldn’t concentrate on what he wanted to order.
I tried to pay attention to what my dad was saying to me, but my eyes kept traveling over to where he stood…or rather, where he paced. He took his tray and sat across the room. He sat there with his hood up. His movements were very “jerky”. I kept watching him. Finally Dad asked what I was watching. As he asked, I watched the man take a bite of his food. It was obviously too hot for him, but he painfully chewed on it anyway with his mouth partially open, tossing the food back and forth. He finally spit the food out and then started the process over again. He looked confused and very uncomfortable. What I mean is, he seemed uncomfortable in his own skin. He couldn’t sit still. He would swipe at his face, rub his face, and rock himself. I couldn’t stop watching him.
My guess? Meth. We live in (at least we have been) the Meth capital of our country. So, it’s not that hard to spot around here. I could be wrong, but that’s my guess.
I looked back at my Dad, “I was watching that guy over there. I think he is on drugs. Why do people do that to themselves?”
As we left the restaurant, I said a prayer for that man. I come in contact with Meth addicts every week: Wal-Mart, the gas station, the roads…There was just something about this particular man. It was as if he was fighting the demon he lives with. It tore at my heart. I thought of him throughout the day, and I am still thinking of him.
You know, I have never been a drug addict. I don’t know what that is like. However, I do know what it’s like to live with demons. I know what it’s like to feel like my skin is crawling. I know what it’s like to pace the room because I was afraid if I sat still I might go crazy. I know what it’s like to run my fingers through my hair because I simply had to do something with my hands because they were shaking so badly.
His demon: Drugs
My demon: Anxiety
As odd as it sounds, I guess I sort-of saw myself in that man. Not the today me, but the me of my past. I pray that God will somehow deliver that man and free him of his bondage.
Freedom, Joy, Peace: they are priceless. Well, they are priceless to us. Jesus paid the ultimate price for our gift of deliverance: He gave His life.
Galatians 5:1 ESV For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
Ephesians 3:12 NIV In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.
Psalm 118:5 ESV Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free.