CHARLOTTE, NC – Then I didn’t see him anymore. I was concerned. Was he dead? The nature of addiction is that it is fatal. You will die from complications of addiction.
Sometime later I was entering our lobby and saw him sitting in one of our chairs. I asked him if he was coming into the program and he said, “Yes.” I was so very proud of him for putting aside his ego to seek the help he desperately needed.
I’d watch him in the chapel. I asked God to grab his attention and do a work of grace in his heart and in his life.
One day we ran into one another and engaged in conversation. I asked him how long he had been at the mission. He said he’d been clean and sober for 30 days.
For too many years I’ve asked the residents of the Rescue Mission, “How many of you can wake up stone broke at 8:30 a.m. and have enough money for your drug habit for the day in 90 minutes?” 85%of the men will raise their hands.
When you see someone panhandling, ask yourself this question, “What do I want to see happen in the life of the individual who is panhandling? Do I want to feed them or shelter them? Or, do I want to help them achieve their God-given potential?” Sometimes in saying “No,” you create an environment causing the person to want to change. People change when the pain of whatever is greater than the pleasure.
Saying “No” may be the most loving act you do. I’ll be back in two weeks. Until then, live well my friend.
Rev. Tony Marciano is the President/CEO of the Charlotte Rescue Mission. He is available to speak to your group. Go to www.charlotterescuemission.org and go to contact us- just ask for Pam.