My Alcoholic Christian Friend

“And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two”. Matt 5:41

My friend has now been drinking everyday since the 14th of December 2009. He has been involved in several recovery programs, met with many, many counselors, pastors and tons of prayer has been offered from his church and  his circle of friends. He is about 45 yrs old and looking at him you would think that he was a high level corporate executive.  Yet, for the last 4-5 years, he has been in and out of these recovery programs with the longest stint of sobriety lasting 6 months.

Through all of this, he remains a friend. He calls me everyday and recently has given me a daily ”can’ count.  From 16 cans of beer a day month ago now down to two or three cans to take the “edge off”. We use to meet every Thursday morning at 9 a.m. for coffee. We have not done that for two weeks now since I have such a problem discussing life, scriptures and so on with a person who has begun his day with a couple cans of Coors.

Today at 4:00 P.M. I will be bringing him to a “detox” center. He is ready to go. Recently a doctor told him that his pancreas is “not functioning as it should”. When he told me that I responded by asking him “what other information do you need in order for you to stop this (drinking) nonsense?” His reply was, as always, “well, someday I’ll get it”.

I read once where a tribe in the Amazon redefined to an anthropologist what caring for one another meant. He wrote that a female tribal member was born without the ability to walk. He never knew the “formal diagnosis” other than the fact this woman could not walk. What amazed him was that they, the other tribal members, literally carried her for 68 years until her death. What my friend has asked for is over the years is tiny compared to that tribe,yet there has been times I would rather not help him.

CS Lewis wrote that “Friendship is not a reward for our discrimination and good taste in finding one another out. It is the instrument by which God reveals to each the beauties of each of all the others”.

I did not choose this friend of mine, God chose him for me for reasons I understand now and for reasons yet  unfolded. I will be with him at 4 o’clock today.


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