He didnt think he could do anything right. He had been homeless on more than one occasion. He didnt even know how many times he had been in jail. The same about psychiatric hospitals. He was an alcoholic and drug addict. He had a family who refused to have anything to do with him. Finally they discharged from the state hospital. The last day they called him in and told him. “There is absolutely no hope for you. We dont know what to do…..”
He went home that day, got a gun, put it up to his head and pulled the trigger. He lived. I dont know how. I dont think he does either. He lived in another part of the country. We met online and became friends.
I got an emergency call one day. He had a gun and was prepared to end it this time. It, he said, really wouldnt hurt that bad. I didnt know the address where he lived and didnt know what police to call. We talked for about 3.5 hours. I remember talking about courage and telling him that he had a lot. He thought that was nonsense. I told him that when I woke up the decision was made to make it to the next day. He had to make the decision every day often when the loudest voice was the one in his head saying “End it now…It is all that makes sense….Everyone will be far better off…..” I thanked him for being my friend. We talked about restoration. I told him I thought things could get better. And what did he really have to lose anyway?? We talked about help that would actually help and things he could do. He told me about his dog and we talked a lot about dogs. He put the gun down.
To make a long story short he got some help. A few weeks later I got a call from him telling me I had saved his life and how grateful he was. Every couple of months we still hear from him. He has found restoration of a sort. He does have a family that wants him. They want the chance they never had. There are things in his life he thinks are worth doing. He is finding friends and finding out he can be a friend. He never knew that.
Life can get better. It can be restored. Things lost can be found. Things never had can be given birth. I think of him a lot when I think of restoration. As Linda and I are becoming more involved with the “mentally ill” homeless population restoration occupies a lot more of my time and thought. Because things are hard, because they are overwhelming, because there is no promise of success doesnt mean good stuff cant happen. People are God’s miracles and we are God’s miracle to each other.
Ordinary people coping with extraordinary circumstances…….Is that not the true condition of all of us? Sometimes it is hard to believe. And sometimes this is not the season of better life. But I find it harder to not believe at all. In the smallest of me I have found the biggest stuff. And in the smallest moments of other people I still hear the voice telling me restoration is real.