Picture of tunnel taken by Pentaboxes
Part 2: Light at the end of the tunnel
Then on the next visit, he did change. He told me that he had decided to bail himself out of jail. For the next two months he would be sober from drugs for the first time in 25 years. Over that time period he was able to gain weight. His bony appearance and the features of a sickly man that he carried for such a long time went away. In a few months, he looked 10 years younger.
He decided to make a difference and change things. He told me that with his condition, he could die even if he contracted a minor cold. He told me that even if he died tomorrow he would want to try to make a difference today. So he did. He started to go to drug programs to deal with his problems. He started to spend more time with his family. And he started to spend more time with church.
Through the church he decided to start give others an avenue to get some help. He started to write for the church newspaper about his experiences with drugs trying to prevent the next generation to make the same mistakes. He started to preach on the Christian radio station and give people advice on how to turn their life around. He went even further and started a group through the church to feed the homeless, the helpless and too often forgotten. The most important thing was that he gave people hope.
Then it was time for his case to go back to court. He told me that he didn’t care about going back to jail. With all the progress that he made, he felt right for the first time in his life. He was ready to face anything because he was at peace with the person that he was now. Then an amazing thing happened. The world that abandoned him as a child, judged his as an adult, wouldn’t allow for him to go back to jail. The outpouring of support was tremendous. The people hundreds of people that he helped all signed their names in support of him. The pastor of the church came to the support of him. Then he was given a second chance and continue the work for society.
He left me with the words of thanks and eyes of tears. He told me he never thought this all to be possible the first time I sat down with him at the jail. He told me he never thought his life would change so much. Finally, he told me to call him and send him any person that I believe he could help. I tell this story because it is easy to be cynical, but there is hope. Sometimes you meet people at the wrong time and the person can’t or won’t change when you want. And then there are those other times, when you meet a person at the right time, when they are ready to change and you give them hope to change. I am glad I sat down with him on that day.