One of the privileges of relational ministry is to walk alongside another human being in their darkest times. I've had such privileges several times since visiting the good people of the streets of Kensington over this past couple of years. This only happens in depth when trust has been realized and that only comes with time.
One of these experiences happened recently when I was contacted by a resident of the streets who has been doing everything they can possibly think of to find detox and healing.
I won’t even go into the details of all that this person has tried to do to find healing. Those details are actually already mentioned in general terms throughout this blog series.
Imagine if you will, being required by your body to inject a drug that you are well aware may kill you before you can even remove the needle from your being. If you are a lady on the street, imagine knowing that your only source of income to buy that drug that may kill you is to rent out your body to a guy who may be kind to you or who may kill you. Imagine being called every conceivable harsh term often used to describe a woman who walks the street in this way.
Are you getting the idea?
I’m not done…
Imagine knowing that your children have been taken away from you permanently, your family has turned their back on you, you have several STDs, blisters, abscesses, and, most recently, a doctor has told you that your organs are failing due to your drug use that you’d like to stop but can’t because you can’t get into a detox unit without jumping through so many hoops that your mind blows just thinking about it.
Multiply all of that by a factor of 10 or more and add on top of that the torment that you feel in your soul because, in reality, you are a very committed Christian who knows that all of this is wrong and you’d like to stop but can’t.
Are you starting to understand?
Now hold those thoughts for a moment…
What is a heroin overdose?
An overdose occurs when a person consumes more heroin in one injection than their body can handle. That’s really all an overdose is…
Just as you might ‘overdose’ on pizza and end up with indigestion, any drug addicted person could end up with death by injecting to much drug in one dose. It’s just that simple…
Now let’s combine these two topics…
If my life is a living hell from which I can not find my way out and no one around me seems to know or care what to do then all I need to do is inject more heroin than my body can handle in one injection. My obvious solution to this misery is literally at my fingertips with far more ease than using a gun or rope or stepping into traffic. I’ll simply fade away and never know I’ve died.
This is the place in which one of my street friends found themselves a few weeks ago. Well, actually, my description is a faded shadow of their reality over those days.
I was deeply concerned and sought prayers and professional guidance on what to do. With the seemingly guaranteed day of earthly departure come and gone, when I received a text the following morning indicating he was still with us, I sighed and cried in relief.
|Permission to photograph|
was obtained from
Mr. Croquette Potato Head.
|The tiramisus did not|
want to be photographed.
Out of respect,
I've used this very similar
photo from the web.
We met for lunch. Both of us ordered French Onion Soup. He had a chocolate milkshake and I had the happiest chicken croquettes with mashed potatoes and gravy that I’ve ever seen!
On the way out, there was one more temptation to overcome and fall victim too:
Those gorgeous desserts in the display case right at the cash register!!!
It didn’t take long to identify what we were getting…
“Two tiramisus to go, please.”
 To say that the medical system is so outrageously incapable of providing care for those who need it at the volume it is needed these days in this current crisis is one of the understatements of the century.
 an Italian dessert made with layers of sponge cake soaked in espresso coffee, Marsala, mascarpone cheese, and chocolate