photo © 2007 Wiros | more info (via: Wylio)My favorite way to spend a Friday night is to camp on the couch, set Pandora loose with one of my favorite songs and catch up with friends on Facebook and Twitter. God always uses that background music to draw my attention to ordinary moments and turns them into divine encounters.
Today it was these words from the secular artist Jewell’s song “Little Sister” that got my attention:
My little sister is a Zombie in a body
with no soul in a role she has learned to play
in a world today where nothing else matters
but it matters, we gotta start feeding our souls
Not our addiction or afflictions of pain
to avoid the same questions we must
ask ourselves to get any answers
We gotta start feeding our souls
have been lost to the millions with lots
who feed on addiction selling pills and what’s hot
I wish I could save her from all their delusions
all the confusion
of a nation that starves for salvation
but clothing is the closest to approximation
to God and He only knows that drugs
are all we know of love
These words resonated deeply with my own reality. We have been working hard with our friends in Hillside, many of whom have become like family to us. Our friends voice a desire for employment, but like the “little sister” in Jewell’s song, are like Zombie’s whose bodies have been taken over by addiction. Week after week I watch as good people make bad choices related to drugs. Marijuana seems to be the drug of choice for many of our younger friends and no matter how clearly we articulate the dangers and consequences of abusing substances, they continue to act as if it does not matter.
Like the older sister in Jewell’s song, I wish I could save my friends from the delusions and confusion that plague the Hillside community. I wish I could save people from the demon of drugs that is robbing them of the abundant life God desires for them. As I was reflecting on my feelings of helplessness in this matter, the words “We gotta start feeding our souls” leaped out at me.
My very wise friend Charles Fitzgerald who has himself overcome a 33 year addiction through the support of The Healing Place program often says, “If you miss the spiritual part of the program, you miss the program.” We all know the battle before us is spiritual in nature. We can continue to invest tremendous energy into vocational mentoring and job readiness programs only to have substance abuse undermine those efforts for many of our friends or we can get serious about helping people feed their souls. I am not sure yet what form that soul feeding will take. I am just sensing God is calling us to focus our efforts in that direction at this season in our journey.
I would love your input into this conversation, especially those of you who have experienced challenges related to substance abuse personally or with family members and friends.