A few weeks ago, I looked outside of my office window and saw a man walking up my porch steps to help himself to one of the bottles of water I set out on my porch in a basket. It’s a simple gesture – offering free water to people who need it – that’s resulted in a lot of incredible conversations with the passerby’s.
We stopped to chat and before you knew it, nearly two hours had gone by as we sat on the front steps and talked about life. He shared some of his background with me, as well as his current struggle with heroin. He was very well-aware that he was on a slippery slope down to death.
I asked him what he was doing that night, and he told me he was going to score and shoot up. Asking if he needed anything, he asked me if he could have a blanket.
“I’m going to be sleeping in a tent tonight. Do you have anything I could sleep on?”
I ran inside to grab a 1LOVE blanket, as well as BadA** DAD t-shirt for him.
He shared with me that he had a son who he hadn’t seen in three years, and he was considering whether or not to throw in the towel on the situation. I shared my own story with him, and encouraged him to stick in the fight to be there for his son.
“Even if you aren’t with your son right now, he knows the choices that you’re making.”
That night, I dropped him off at a cheap hotel in East Dallas. Whatever plans he had after he left my car were up to him, and he knew that.
Before he left, I told him:
“Get clean. You can do it and your son is counting on you. Knock on my door when you’re sober.”
This afternoon, I was in my living room and it sounded like there was a knock on my door. Ignoring it, I went back to my iPad…
A second time, I heard a knock. This time, I got off the couch and went downstairs to the front door. There stood Jacob.
“Jacob! How are you doing, brother?”
“Man, I’ve been clean for 7 days now. 3 days in the hospital, 4 days in the street. I don’t ever want to touch heroin again.”
“Want to chat about it in the air conditioning?” I asked.
He stood there, drenched in sweat and nodded his head as I opened the door for him to come inside of my home.
He shared that he had a wake-up call a week prior; overdosing in the bathroom of a 7-11 and spending three nights in a coma at the hospital while on a NARCAN drip. Right before he overdosed, he encountered a young lady in a ditch on the side of the road.
She was dead, with ants crawling into her eyes by the time the paramedics arrived to the scene.
He helped the medics with any information he had before walking in the 7-11 to have his turn to shoot up.
He woke up, 3 days later in a hospital room and was told that he was lucky to be alive.
“Aaron, I used to think that death with like a warm sleeping bag you’d get into when you’re ready to go. That’s not what it’s like. For three days, I felt like I was being strapped into a chair and it was drowning me…my soul. On every side of the chair were these dark black witches that kept pushing me back into the chair every time I tried to leave it.”
“Jacob, do you know that they’re fighting for your soul?”
“No. I never stopped to think about that.”
“Those energies are fighting for your soul, because you have the one thing they don’t have; choice and potential. They’re stuck in the darkness and they want you to extinguish your light because they don’t have any left. Don’t give in.”
This afternoon, I asked him what his biggest challenge was.”
“Heroin.” he said.
“Right now, you’re in the toughest fight of your life. The energy and effort you put into this fight will absolutely transfer to your son someday when he’s having his dark moment. What you do now could release the angels and help that he needs when he goes through his moment of difficulty. That’s just how this thing works.”
“Whoa. You’re right.”
“Jacob – remember that your son is watching you right now. Maybe he’s not here with us, but I assure you that ‘up there’ he’s watching the replay of your life, and he’s cheering you on as you fight heroin. This is your fight, Jacob. And your son is watching you as you step into the ring…are you going to quit?”
He sat there and thought long and hard…
“Then get up there and meet the bell. It’s showtime.”
“You’re right, man. Meet the bell.”
And with that, he was off to fight.