Of resurrection and redemption

24Apr11

I’ve been thinking a lot about resurrection and redemption these past few days.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve watched two friends struggle with their husbands’ alcoholism.

One had the courage to throw down an ultimatum—either you stop drinking, or I leave—and to follow through when her husband chose the bottle.

The other has a different kind of courage: The courage to stay and endure, to be self-reliant, and to make the best of a tough situation.

I’ve tried hard to listen and to be supportive, but I couldn’t quite relate: “He’s never going to change,” I would think as my friends clung to the possibility that maybe this time would be different. “Wishful thinking, empty hope,” I’d say to myself.

But now I understand the importance of believing in resurrection and redemption—and of hoping for a second chance.

I have a friend who is a brilliant musician. His is a rare gift: He’s a superb guitarist who has a wonderful voice and an incredible stage presence. What’s even more remarkable is that he’s entirely self-taught. I can’t imagine the hard work and self-discipline it must have taken to perfect his craft.

But sadly, his gift—and his hard work—are going to waste. Day after day, he’s drinking his life away. And night after night, he’s singing the same songs to the same drunks in a tiny little bar.

If that was the life he’d chosen, I’d say, “to each his own.” But I know he has bigger ambitions. He dreams of reaching a wider audience, of writing his own songs. Unfortunately, the beer he favors has a different plan for his life.

I tried to help, and it ruined our friendship. (Grown men—alcoholics, especially—don’t take kindly to unsolicited advice.)

But I still have hope that one day he’ll take stock of his life and that he’ll decide to make a change. I hope he’ll have a resurrection, find his redemption, and that he’ll get a second chance.

Isn’t that what Easter is all about?



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