I saw a man crying on the nightly news yesterday. His wife and daughter had just been blown to pieces by a suicide bomber in Ramallah. The man cried out in a language I did not understand, but wept in a language I did.
As I looked away, I thought to myself, "Thank God I haven’t lost my wife and family."
I saw a man searching through a garbage can in a deserted alley yesterday. He asked me if I was from The Healing Place, and I told him I was. I asked him if he’d ever stayed there. He said no, that he’d been on the streets in Richmond going on two years now.
As I walked away, I thought to myself, "Thank God I haven’t been homeless and eating out of a garbage can for two years."
I saw a man sitting in a cell in the Richmond City Jail yesterday. He had shot and killed his teenage daughter while on a booze and crack-fueled spree. He picked at his orange jumpsuit as he told me how truly sorry he was for what he had done.
As I left, I thought to myself, "Thank God I haven’t killed anyone or wound up in prison because I was drunk."
I saw a man tell his story in a church basement yesterday. He talked of the years of pain and suffering he inflicted on himself and others because of his addiction, and he told of how he had found a way out. He told of his 14 years of living happy, joyous and free, and as he spoke the light of inner peace and serenity shone from him.
As I watched, I thought to myself, "I haven’t put together 14 years of sobriety. I haven’t rebuilt the shattered remnants of my former life. I haven’t shown my wife, my son, or my God how much I love them."