No Direction Home?

You can take people by the hand, but you can’t pull them. It’s noble to reach out to people who need a helping hand. But in some cases, they don’t want to listen to advice or follow the right path.

After people visited him in the hospital, worked hard to get him in a nursing home, moved his worldly  possessions  from his sold home into storage, counseled and encouraged him to straighten out and tried to get him into more programs to help him overcome his besetting sin of chronic drunkenness, he walked away from the nursing home. When he was distraught around the public library in Levittown, PA our friend in the homeless and needy community in Bucks County, PA, a police officer encouraged him to return to the nursing home. He didn’t.

At Tuesday night’s community meal for the homeless and those in need, our friend was greeted by his friends. He thanked those who have been helping him.

The reason for bolting from the nursing home? He described it as being quite filthy. I find that dubious, as do others.

He told me he planned to find a hotel and drove away from the dinner. The social worker he was working with, he said, was looking for a room for him.

Now, he’s on his own, with no direction home, as Bob Dylan sang. https://www.bing.com/search?q=bob+dylan+like+a+rolling+stone+video&qs=RI&pq=like+a+rolling+stone+bob+dylan+video&sc=4-36&cvid=03A1BA8266F8423E8DB414525C1D72E4&FORM=QBRE&sp=1

The man needs to be sequestered in a home, where he can get the treatment, mostly counseling, that he badly needs, as well as a place where he has to stay away from the bottle and cigarettes, which he craves.

A few years back, I kept company with a homeless woman who had just walked away from her husband, a well-paying job, fancy cars and a great house in an upscale neighborhood. She was well educated. The woman was leery of going to the homeless meals, as she thought people didn’t like her being there. I encouraged her to go, and we often went to the meals together. I also brought food to her tent, as she was quite thin and may have gotten thinner.

For awhile, we did positive things such as discuss books we got out of the local library, would reference books we’ve read, talked about art…  She got a job but was fired, accused of being involved in a stealing ring. She had a problem with the bottle, and soon returned to heavy drinking, and habitually stole things. She sometimes broke down crying, lamenting to me that she was homeless.

Drunkenness, like other crutches to escape life, leads nowhere. A problem drinker’s girlfriend and I used to say that he thinks the answer to problems is in the bottle. He may think that a genie will pop out and say “your wish is my command.”

Actually, the bottle abused is a tyrant! It’s an example of pursuing something that entices you but brings you to despair, as Bob Dylan sang about the youth who left their comfortable homes in search of something better. The grass was no only not greener – it was brown!

People who engage in destructive behavior such as drunkenness can lose their jobs, their houses, family and other relations with people. They are so enamored with the bottle that it become more important than anything else.

As a result of his heavy drinking, Dr. Robert Smith, aka Dr. Bob, one of the Alcoholics Anonymous founders, almost didn’t finish medical school and put his business and family life jeopardy. But with God’s help and through AA programs, after staying with the program, Dr. Bob was able to put this destructive behavior at bay. The 12 Step program grew out of Alcoholics Anonymous, which continues to be a successful program. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Alcoholics_Anonymous

Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has strife? Who has complaining? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who tarry long over wine; those who go to try mixed wine. Do not look at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup and goes down smoothly. In the end it bites like a serpent and stings like an adder. Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart utter perverse things. …” – Proverbs 23:39-35