My company hired a man as an outside sales representative a few years ago. He was a friendly man. He always seemed to have a smile on his face, and a kind word to say.
As I got to know this man, I learned a few things about him. He had a terrible temper. The fits that he would throw at certain times were pretty intense. I also learned that he was battling a prescription opiate addiction. He had back problems. He had expressed to me how he desperately wanted to get off of the medication because of side-effects. He was a heavy smoker. He loved guns, drinking and men. He was very open about many things. I also learned that he was an atheist. He had some pretty bizarre beliefs when it came to how we all ended up here, and I really didn’t understand his theory.
There were times when I would talk about my faith. He asked me how I keep my composure after he learned that I too once had drug addictions, anger issues and much of the same type of anxiety that he had. I told him about the healing power of the Lord, and how my relationship with Him had sent me down a different path. He rejected my belief, but interestingly enough, he wanted to know more.
We spent a few times together. We talked about the Lord over lunch one day, and we debated our beliefs in a friendly manner. I gave him a small Gideon Bible, and it struck me as odd when he said that he already had a Bible. He took my gift anyway. I invited him to a church I was attending at the time, and he said that he would go. He never did, and it was probably best. My family and I left soon after. It was not a healthy environment for a follower of Christ. I would send him articles to read about God. He always accepted my invitations and information.
I don’t know what my efforts ever did for him? He had many unresolved issues that had developed within our company, and he was let go. Upon his departure, I remember him speaking very harshly about the company. He was very upset. When he was saying his goodbyes, he came to me and thanked me. He said something along the lines of appreciating my kindness and honesty. I never saw him again.
My old friend died on January 3, 2018 from an OTC overdose. I learned that he had been taking large amounts of Imodium to alleviate withdrawal from his opiate addiction that he so desperately wanted to remove. The anti-diarrhea drug had caused him to pass away in his sleep.
I attended his celebration service and stood at the box of his ashes. I remembered our talks and the laughs. I have prayed many times that he has reached eternal peace with our Lord.
God longs for us all to accept His invitation. It was always important to me to see my friend go on in life with Jesus walking beside him. He was in a lot of pain, much like the rest of us.
Here is one of the articles I had sent to him. I pray that someone finds inspiration in the message. Have a blessed day.