Monday, February 16, 2009

Ed's Shoes

I was going through pictures in our files, in an attempt to put things in order, when I noticed a picture of Ed's shoe. Ed was in our men's Transformation Program. The Mission has a one year, biblically based program which attempts to help men overcome their addictions. Men join the program, many of whom are desperate to change their lives. Sometimes before it's too late.

Ed was one of these men. He seemed to be making great progress. Though he'd been in a few other rehabilitation programs, he believed that ours would be the one he finally finished. The path from which he'd never stray. But, as with too many of these men, after a few months had passed, he began to feel so good and see things so clearly, that he believed he was ready to "go it alone."

Staff members tried to discourage this feeling, tried to encourage him to "stay the course," but Ed packed up his belongings and went home. He promised that he'd be all right. He left behind very few things. Among these was a stray, black dress shoe.

Only a few weeks later, his girlfriend called to ask if she could come pick up the shoe. She needed it for Ed's funeral.

We don't know what went through Ed's mind. If, when he left, he truly believed he was "cured," or if he was only so desperate for a drink that he had little thought of anything else. All we know is that, in the dark of night, Ed, being too drunk to stand, stumbled into oncoming traffic and was killed.

It's a dramatic story, and I wish I could say it was the only story like it I had heard. The tragedy is that Ed's story is not as unique or unheard of as we would wish it to be, and the real victims of this story include Ed's girlfriend and his mother. These two women held onto hope until it was too late.

The men on our program are fighting and struggling for a new life. Donations from our supporters enable us to continually hold out a hand of help to them and their families. Prayers from our supporters encourage them, and us, as they continue their fight. Thank you for helping us help others!

No comments: