This comes from a brief article in our weekly Bulletin
Every year he came into the Headquarters of our little
outreach (it specialised in helping families recover the effects of addictive dependencies – we called Re-union); he left a substantial donation and then quickly and silently left – every year on, or close to, September 3rd; and no-one knew why.
Then I saw him enjoying a quiet coffee in a cafe in a dress circle suburb that I’d never visited before. I introduced myself and thanked him for his dependable generosity – and asked if he’d mind telling me why he made such an act philanthropy and if there was some significance to the date. At first reluctantly and then with growing passion, he told me of how a charity like ours had picked up on a member of his close family; beyond hope, seemingly beyond help, given up on by everyone else including the addict.
It happened that the group had patiently loved, cared for, and non-judgmentally rescued the loved addict from relapses. They helped the oppressed one to put their life back together in a whole new framework, building a sense of value they’d never known before; they’d introduced them to community of people who in all sorts of stages of return to sanity and dignity whose commitment was to first love one another according to the most selfless of models.
As a part of the restoration and rebuilding process they slowly reintroduced this renewed being to some of the network of that gave their life a sense of belonging – their family and some of their friends. The group also worked in that network of relationships to help them appreciate their friend’s need for ongoing love and accountability.
Ultimately this fragile but valued and loved one began a slow and considered return to the everyday world that once held so many vicious traps and entrees to addiction – returning a life beyond imagining for both the addict and all those who loved them.
For this our generous and habitual donor was tremendously thankful and made his annual pilgrimage of thanksgiving to the charity that most closely resembled that remarkable community of love and care that had given them back the one they though they had lost forever.
It’s a story written in every human heart – yes yours too.