Is that really true? Is no one ever too lost to be saved? What about that “junkie” who is shooting dope in front of her kids and gets arrested for the 4th time? What about that “crackhead” who is picking crumbs off of the carpet and smoking them? What about that “dope fiend” who just overdosed for the 7th time? What about them?
When is the official time or sign to let people go? When should you finally give up? When are they really too far gone?
I’ve noticed that we live in an instant gratification based society. Almost like we are addicted to seeing the results of the effort we put in immediately. We want people to be fixed and fixed now. Or, some of us prefer that we don’t engage in actively helping those who are suffering. When someone reaches out for help on Facebook, we can choose to scroll past or even write “you got this”, meaning I don’t want to take a part in trying to help you.
Maybe that’s not you, but for many, it is.
It’s worse if the person is a said “troubled person”. Meaning they are constantly needing help, crying out, relapsing or “messing up”. What does our society do with these people? I am afraid we’ve already seen what it does.
Now, instead of addressing the issues that are most important in this country, like the need for more treatment centers, the need for a quicker process when getting someone into treatment or the general lack of compassion we have for those who are suffering in this country- this is how we respond: “If they get Narcan, we should get free _______!” “I don’t want my tax dollars paying for those junkies!” “Maybe they should have chosen not to do the drugs in the first place” “Let them die anyways, it’s natural selection!” Do you see what I am seeing here? It’s apparent that we preach second chances in this country, but we don’t often practice that belief.
When is someone too far gone? When is someone too lost to be saved?
The fact that we ask that question at all concerns me. The only time someone is too lost or too far gone to be saved is when they are laying 6 feet under. When the funeral is finished. When the casket is laid in its dirt bed. But as long as a person still has breath in their lungs, that means that they are in fact not too far gone. They’re still here.
The real question behind that question really is: Should I give up on them?
The answer is No. Don’t.
I believe that there are so many addicts in this country, so many people who are suffering and so many lost people because someone’s given up on each of these people. What would happen if each of us really believed that no one is too lost to be saved? How many people would still be alive today? How many lives would be changed and touched forever? How many broken people would come out of the shadows and step into the light to be healed? The thought saddens me that that hasn’t happened yet and that we’ve lost so many before it does.
The truth is, with the right kind of support, that “junkie” mom gets clean and goes on to be a mother. That “crackhead”, with the right support, gets clean and leads seminars. That “dope fiend”, with the right support, gets clean after his 7th overdose and becomes a pastor. Are we willing to be the ones who give that support?
The unfortunate truth is that our stigmas determine the value that we place on another person’s life. If we deem that person dirty, used, too broken, a junkie, a crackhead, a dope fiend, then we automatically degrade the value of that person’s life.
What if we just saw people as humans? Regardless of their diseases, deformities, mental health and brokenness? Would the barrier finally be broken down enough to want to support those who are suffering? To see their purpose in life? Every person has 37.2 trillion uniquely functioning cells in their body that function for one purpose- to keep that person alive long enough to fulfill their purpose. Who are we to say that their life is not as valuable as another person?
At the end of the day, it will take a revolution of compassion and love to heal the rift between broken people and other broken people. I say that because we’ve all been broken in some way, only some of us didn’t have the support to help heal ourselves.
It is true, no one is too lost to be saved. Imagine if the world started to believe that.
About the Author
My name is Chanda Lynn. I am a recovering addict. I have been in recovery about 2 1/2 years. I came from a middle class, Christian household. I was an honor student. I went to college early, until I fell into the grips of addiction. It all started with a painkiller my mother gave me after I had my wisdom teeth taken out. I lived almost 7 years of active addiction, addicted to almost everything. After a prayer, I prayed over 2 1/2 years ago, I was given my life back. Now, I am a mother, a poet, an advocate, a writer and a public speaker.