I have a Guest Blogger tonight, I wanted to share their thoughts and words. Very raw and transparent. This really touched me.
I do not blog, nothing against those that do. I secretly read some blogs and believe my wife’s blog is a tool to help others….
I do not communicate well with others. I do not like to examine my feelings, no less write them down for others to see and examine. I take my feelings and usually hide them in some recess of my brain. I hide them in all these little hiding places until I forget where I hid them and then I don’t have to deal with them.
At times all the hiding places become used up and these feelings, these emotions must be dealt with. God help my wife or children for these days because it is these days I am not my best….It is these days when they get to see the ugly side of a immature, king baby addict who has been forced to deal with pain, anger, hurt or just being hungry!
As I sit here all alone with my thoughts, I am desperately trying to take some hurt and pain and put it into one my hiding spots….but tonight it is not working. Tonight I have to release some pain. If I do not, the consequences may not be good. I will try this writing thing, I will type aimlessly, with no purpose, no outline, no plan. I will release my emotions and will not stop typing until I have expressed this pain to its fullest. Will my confusion be clarified? Will my pain be pacified? Will my grieving by gratified? I have no idea….But here goes…..
I went to a funeral today. A funeral for my Pastor, my spiritual mentor, my friend from years ago. It was unlike any funeral I had ever been to. It was not your typical service. I was one of maybe a dozen men out of hundreds in dress pants. I wore no leather, no chaps, I unbuckled the seatbelt to my cross over rather than take my helmet off. I had no patch on my back and I have never had a parole officer. I walked into the church hand in hand with my wife, my rock, my friend. A lump had already begin to rise up in my throat as I looked around at 500-600 bikers and addicts who milled about….each and everyone impacted by this man. They were all there because he loved them when no one else could, would or knew how. And right smack dab in the middle is me…this tall, lanky white kid from a Christian home who has never been on a moped, no less a Harley. But I didn’t care, I was not embarrassed, I was not ashamed, I was here to honor the man that helped save my family. Let’s rewind some 9 years, as I was released from my first and last stint from rehab…
I could spend my time talking about how I ended up where I did, but that would be selfish….that would not help get rid of this pain. This is about the man that met me at the bottom. It is NOT important how I ended up at the bottom or what I did. NO, this is about the Pastor that was waiting for me at the bottom.
I was released on a weekday in early January. I remember it being so bright outside (weird the things you remember)….I remember driving home and having no idea how I was going to live life without getting high. I only knew one addict and she was a female at my church. I called her as soon as I could that day. She immediately put me in contact with Marc. I called Marc and he told me he would see me at a meeting at Faith. I remember driving to this meeting with Nita. I remember a song by Casting Crowns was on the radio and I was crying at the stoplight by Dixie and M-15….I was lost, confused, I was in physical pain. I had no idea if Nita was going to be able to stick this out, I had no idea what my career was going to be. I was broke, I was dope sick and I wanted to get high. I met Marc that first night. I was so enthralled by him. He had the most unbelievable smile. He had this gravely voice and looked like a convict. He spoke about freedom, about true freedom. He not only talked about it, he SHOWED ME HOW TO GET IT. Week after week, he would always be there with a smile and a hug. I can smell his cologne as he would hug me. You never shook his hand, you hugged Marc and he would look at me with a look like he honestly cared how I was doing. He never lied; and he said what was on his mind, regardless of how it made you feel. He would NEVER tell you what you would want to hear, he would tell you what you NEEDED to hear. He trained me how to be a leader by lowering myself to a servant. He could relate with someone dope sick, or someone just wanting to quit smoking! He spoke directly into my life every Monday night. He loved me just like I was one of his biker friends. He didn’t care that I didn’t fit in with this group. He used to say “relate, don’t compare”. I would take that to all my meetings. I would try to relate to other addicts, not compare. He did not compare himself with me. He was a convicted felon, a heroin addict who grew up in chaos and confusion. I was a churched, suburban white kid…..but we both could relate to theloneliness, guilt and pain of putting a needle in our arm. We both could relate to waking up dope sick in puddles of sweat running to the bathroom and hoping against hope we had some dope left. Because of this compassion and ability to relate, I “kept comingback”…I kept coming and coming and eventually he believed in me and trusted me to be a leader in his ministry.
He could sit at a table and engage the most unlovable, difficult person in the world. If they were talking crap, he would let them know they were full of crap. But in the end, that person knew he loved them. He loved the unlovable and ministered to literally thousands of people that no one in their right mind would minister to. He was delivered in a jail cell and had a desire to see everyone experience that same deliverance.
So…..here I am at this “funeral” today. I look all around and I cannot stop crying. I want to scream. My wife says “this makes me hate addiction so much”. Her body shutters, and she really does hate it. It has killed all her family; it has destroyed everyone she loved in the past. Addiction nearly destroyed her husband and I believe that if not for Marc and his compassion and his ministry that God used him to build it would have destroyed me for sure. When she says this, I realize that is the emotion I have been struggling with (at least one of many)….I am angry. I am pissed off….I am angry with myself for not keeping in touch with Marc. I am angry at satan for knowing exactly how to attack this man of God. I am angry at Marc. He was so stinking proud, so stubborn that he would not, could not call someone. Here is a guy that answered the phone for me and others thousands of times, he preached it from the pulpit EVERY MONDAY!!! He would make everyone at the table fill out a sheet for the newcomer with our numbers on it. But yet, here he is at the end of his life, all alone in a room somewhere with a needle in his arm or a bottle by his side…..
HE KNEW BETTER!!!! HE KNEW TO CALL!!! HE WAS SURROUNDED BY HUNDREDS OF MEN WHO WOULD HAVE PICKED HIM UP, CLEANED HIM UP AND LOVED HIM THE WAY HE LOVED US!!!! ALL HE HAD TO DO WAS CALL….JUST CALL MARC. “WE’LL USE TOMORROW, JUST ME AND YOU”….THAT’S WHAT I WOULD HAVE TOLD HIM, THE WAY HE TOLD ME ONE TIME WHEN I CALLED HIM …..BUT HE DIDN’T CALL ANYONE….
Was it pride? Was it the enemy? Oh who cares….. really who cares??…..You know what it was? It was an addict in active addiction. It was Marc being Marc. The old Marc, the Marc I knew would have called someone, he would have read those verses he made me memorize and he would have “done the next right thing”…He would have put “one foot in front of the other” and “not used today”. He would have focused on God’s healing and God’s deliverance. In the end, Marc needed another Marc to step into his life, to speak a message of deliverance and hope. He needed a Marc to minister to him and just assure him that if he could just stop using for today, things would get better. He needed a Marc to tell him in a gravely, rough voice to just “keep holding on until the miracle happens brother…..”. He needed a Marc to love him the way he loved me and my family.
Ok, so I am getting close to being done, in fact I think I am. I feel better. I wish I was like Nita and could write poetically and eloquently and express just how important this man was to me and my life. I cannot, will not nor will I ever be able to. But in the end I think the emotion I feel the most is anger, and confusion. I am angry he went back to addiction (I know I should not be angry at him, but I am).
I am confused as well….I talked to Nita about this….I am confused how that in the room today, there were hundreds and hundreds of people that were delivered because of Marc’s ministry. They are not dead, he is…..He knew how and I am sure he didn’t want to die an addict. I was granted God’s grace, I accepted it just like he did, but he went back to the madness…..what’s the difference between me and him? Why was God’s grace “more” for me….I’m not saying this right and I cannot really express what I am saying….but I know, and if Marc was here he would understand what I was tyring to say. He would probably help me understand it…..
I will miss you Marc, I am sorry the church failed you. I wish you would have called someone brother. I know you never, ever chased an addict but I guarantee you that if you would have called anyone in that room today they would have chased you down, thrown you in a truck and locked you up until you experienced the deliverance you preached about all those years….
RIP Marc, you were my brother and friend.Andy H.