“Christmas comes once a year”
“And every man must have his share”
“Only poor Willy in the jail, drinking sour ginger beer”
-Famous limerick that plays on the radio in Guyana, South America at Christmastime
Again, this Christmas, another Willy in lower Bucks County, PA will be in the jail, drinking sour ginger beer. Like the one who spent Christmas in jail last year, loud, crude, callous, violent behavior put him in prison.
It is sad that Willy has to spend Christmas drinking sour ginger beer in jail, but it’s equally sad what he did to put him there. It was selfish, drunken behavior, where he verbally and physically attacked someone, saying vile things to her and to a witness to his barbaric behavior that caused the problem. Over the past 3 ½ years, people have tried to help him overcome the besetting sin of drunkenness, trying to help him get to the root of it. This Willy had some terrible things happen to him, but he thinks he’ll find deliverance and peace from the bottle.
Society must have rules. Otherwise society breaks down into barbarism, as was the case with English schoolboys in The Lord of The Flies. The point of the story is that there is evil with humans, and it must be restrained. The island the boys get stranded on is a microcosm of society.
This Christmas Sandi, with whom I was very close will not be with me. Brain cancer took her away. I had spent the last three years with her, going in and out of ERs, hospitals, and physical rehab centers. We had good and bad times. There were times I wanted to give up on her, and times she wanted to give up on life. But I was committed to her, and we worked things out, getting ever closer with time.
Cancer wore Sandi down, stopping her from doing more and more things. Early on, she wanted to volunteer helping animals or volunteer in a food pantry. But that didn’t happen. For the longest time, she worked puzzle books. That stopped. She needed a walker. But even with the walker Sandi had a hard time getting around, even getting up from a chair or in and out of my car. But as her condition worsened, instead of wanting to give up and escape through things like alcohol, she fought the cancer, getting a better attitude. She sometimes said “Jesus is in my heart”, and, a child of God, she started acting more Christ-like. She reflected God by being pleasant with the nurses and aides in the nursing home, returning greetings, smiling at them, even thanking them. About one aide, Sandi remarked “at least he’s friendly.”
I am having trouble dealing with losing Sandi. There are other ways to act out, escape than alcohol or drugs. Sometimes I feel like snapping out, and I’m finding it harder to exercise self control and not lash out at annoying people, like people who make too much noise in the quiet area of the library!
Besides attending Grief Sharing meetings, I just got out “you’ll get through this: Hope and Help For Your Turbulent Times” by Max Lucado to help me get through with this rough time. Max uses scripture to help people get through bad times. For example, he uses the story of Joseph, who was thrown into a hole and despised shows how God uses bad for our good. We should not, like Curly of The Three Stooges, lament that we are “a victim of soy cum stances!”
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.” Romans 8:28-30
I’m also continuing to go to Celebrate Recovery meetings, which not only helps people overcome drug and alcohol addictions, but with other habits, hurts and hang ups.
An important thing to remember is that God will get you through. “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-12
Also remember that Christ was born in Bethlehem to save you from sin and give those who confess they are sinners and believe in Him will have everlasting life. Christ saved us to be light to the world. Reaching out to the brokenhearted, as people have to me, is a way of showing this light.