Sometimes….the best advice goes unspoken.
Sometimes, the most charitable thing to do is remain quiet.
Otherwise, good advice is wasted on deaf ears
After all, they warned me….
I was told, but I never listened. In the final stages of my self-destruction, I found myself in the first precinct with my left wrist handcuffed to a detective’s desk. I was on the bad end of a drunk, and on the wrong side of police questioning.
When I arrived, one of the officers greeted me at the door. He knew me from the neighborhood park where I spent much of my time.
He approached me in front of the other officers and said, “I told you so!”
He said. “I warned you….didn’t I? But you thought you knew better.”
Then the he shrugged his shoulders and said, “Have fun inside, kid.”
I was warned.
I was told but I never listened. I thought I could manipulate the system but I was wrong.
There were signs along the way; there were close calls too, but I thought these things happened to other people.
I was only afraid of consequences when my feet were at the ledge.
I was most frightened when I was alone and faced with exact nature of my wrongs.
That’s when I would hit the floor in what are called, “Foxhole prayers,” and I would beg, “Dear God, just get me out of this….get me out of this one and I will never do anything this stupid again.”
But once the threat was removed…..I forgot all about the prayer.
I forgot about the promises too.
On a cold winter night, I found myself on the floor of a basement. I thought my heart was going to stop.
I could not breathe properly and my chest was numb.
My search for the perfect high had led me up to this moment. Only, I had gone too far and the narcotic demons nearly swept me away.
The overdose was mild, and in between what I believed was life and death, I froze in the moment.
As I felt the sensation of awareness, my thoughts turned inward, and fear paddled through my veins along with the white powder that almost killed me.
I said to myself, “This must be what they warned me about.”
Whether I was in a basement, or cuffed to a desk in the precinct, I was warned.
I was told but I never listened.
I thought I could get out of anything………….until I heard them close the door to my cell.
The sound of that door closing was like an exclamation point and its echo was horrible.
In the end, I was by myself.
No one would talk to me, and there was no one around to manipulate, or act as a sounding board for my lies.
Sitting in a holding cell and waiting for the judge to either hold, release me, or set my bail, I had nothing but time to contemplate my actions.
Until that point, every warning that was offered to me was nothing more than wasted air.
Perhaps in that moment, I found the silence spoke loudest.
And tragically, I began to understand.
If it is only by dying that one awakens to eternal life, then it is only by failure that one arises and learns from their own destruction.
And as I mentioned before:
Sometimes, the most charitable and loving thing to do is remain quiet and let people fall where they may
“Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not cast your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn, and tear you to pieces.”
Let him fall, I say.
It’s the only way he’ll ever learn to get back up again…..