Tuesday, May 3, 2016

It's hard to care for the careless but it's the only way to light the way out of the darkness

Full disclosure here, this is terrifying to me. There are some people in my life that I have known for a very long time who have been overtaken time and time again by drugs. Every time they come out of it, I pray that it's the last time their bodies will have to detox from the horrors of heroin.
This story has always been a haunting fear in the back of my mind. I know so many excellent people who work in the jail system, but I also know that there are several who aren't.
It's hard to care when you see people at their worst who have made the worst choices possible and done the worst possible things. I understand that it's hard to give dignity to a person who would stab you for your last ten dollars to score some drugs. It's hard, but it's necessary.

I have to wonder what would have happened to Madaline Christine Pitkin if someone showed compassion instead of annoyance.  If someone looked her in the eyes and said, "I know you don't believe me, but I believe in you."

Instead, she was left to die on a jail cell floor, written off as a heroin junky who didn't deserve any special treatment or special care.  

How terrifying her last days must have been.  How awful would it be to know there is help to save your life, but no one will give it to you.  How devastating it must have been to be her parents learning that her death could have been avoided, but the medical staff at the jail didn't stop it. 

My wish is that Madaline's story doesn't die with her.  My wish is that we never forget her name, and the next time we see a person addicted to something, we remember that they too were once the apple of their parents' eyes.  We may not be able to save them, but we can choose not to do nothing.  We can choose that the ripples we send into the world from our hearts are ripples of love and compassion, even when it's hard.

Tonight I will pray for her parents, family and friends.  I will pray for the staff that are left with the knowledge that they let a young girl die who they could have saved.  I will pray for the prisoners who watched it happen and prayed for her as she deteriorated.  I will pray for everyone who has ever been unable to sleep because the worry about their addicted child ate at their heart too much.  I will pray for everyone who can't put the drugs down and for everyone who fights every day not to pick them back up.  

I will pray that you never have to experience the pain that drugs bring into families.  

It's hared to care for the careless, but it's the only way to light the way out of the darkness. 

Find Madaline's full story here

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