“I’ve got some heroin I’m selling” she said
For the past week I’ve been out of town (at an undisclosed location) and one day found me walking along the beach late at night as the sun was setting. It was a beautiful sight, the palm trees gently swaying in the wind as the waves crashed into the shore. It was the kind of night I wished every night could be….and then an old looking woman interrupted me.
Her face was really beat up with age. She was probably barely only years old, but sun dried skin and a hard life had really taken a toll on her.
“I’ve got some heroin I’m selling” she whispered as I walked by
It’s not the first time someone had tried selling me hard drugs as I was walking late at night and I’m doubt it will be the last time. There’s something about walking around late at night that makes people comfortable enough to reach out and sell you something illegal. I remember walking around late at night in Central America a few years ago and a dude on one corner tried pimping me out his girl, and another guy on the very next corner tried selling me some cocaine. I felt just as bad hearing this fifty year old woman speak to me as I did the two people in Central America.
There’s a part of the United States that is hidden from our daily eyes. We go to work, eat our meals, talk to our friends, and connect with our daily lives via our various social networks. Yet beyond the vail of our nice automobiles and manicured lawns lies people who have lived some pretty tragic lives. Young men who’ve overdosed and died from drugs. Young women who’ve prostituted their bodies to meet the rent payment each month or to feed their children.
Some of these people have probably brought a lot of the tragedy upon themselves through bad choices they’ve made. While others were simply unfortunate enough to grow up in the wrong household or find themselves with friends who turned out to be bad apples.
Ultimately, there is a world in the dark of night that very few of us see. We’d probably surprised to see people that we love dearly and some people who we have the highest respect for hiding in the shadows of the night.
A couple years ago a Christian minister I knew found himself stealing from his congregation and having an affair behind his wife’s back. Stealing the money and committing the affair had a pretty devastating effect on this dude’s life when everyone found out what was going on.
But the truth of the matter is that any and all of us can find ourselves making bad decisions. Most of us don’t have our entire lives fall apart from our bad choices, but nonetheless, if we’re going to be honest with ourselves…..we’re not any better than that woman who tried selling me heroin the other night.
If we’re going to be honest with ourselves, shouldn’t we love that woman as much as we love our neighbors and our friends? Is it really good that we close our eyes to the people who hide in the shadows of the night?
Or perhaps we should go on pretending that life is peachy keen…….
Just a few thoughts as I sipped my coffee this morning,
Categories: Culture & Society