Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Allergies, Addiction, and John 8

This post showed up on my facebook feed several times last week. It breaks my heart.

I am as angry about the EpiPen scandal as everyone else. The cost they have put on it is just criminal. There is no justification for that.

So, what does the EpiPen have to do with NarCan? Absolutely nothing.

The amount that drug companies are charging for the EpiPen is wrong--and so is devaluing folks who have found themselves in bondage to addiction that is so strong they are unable to free themselves.

As long as America's addicts remain nameless, faceless "junkies," instead of being recognized as someone's child or parent, they have no hope of recovery. The person who tweeted this message and those who agree with her are part of the problem. Yes, we live in a screwed up world, and you are part of the reason. I am part of the reason. A decade ago, I would have agreed and shared this post. But life happened to me, and I am changed. Thank God I'm changed. Loving an addict changes your perspective.

Devaluing the life of someone struggling with addiction does not add value to to the life of a child who needs an EpiPen. Let's value all life, and have some compassion for those who already feel like the scum of the earth. Let's give them a reason to work toward recovery.

This tweet knocked me for a loop. I was so upset by it, I couldn't focus on much of anything else for a couple of days. As I tried to focus on my Bible reading, I couldn't get past John 8:1-11. Then I realized the connection.

The woman in John 8 reminds me a little of America's addicts, prostitutes and homeless. Everyone wants to condemn them, ignore them, let them die from their self-destructive choices. But not Jesus... he condemns no one.

The religious folks wanted to use this woman as an example... an opportunity to trick Jesus... a basis for accusing Him. They devalued her--caring nothing for her life. "Let her die from her own bad choices," they said. But Jesus didn't buy into it. He values everyone... He values every life. That's why I love Him so.

As religious folks today, how can we devalue the lives of those trapped in addiction in order to make a point about the criminal actions of a pharmaceutical company? Jesus gave his life for children who need EpiPens as well as drug addicts. They all need Jesus. We all need Jesus.

We are called to love God and to love others. How will you love someone today?

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I would love to hear from you! Let me know what you think and how I can pray for you. Most of us are carrying some pretty heavy baggage and the good news is, you don't have to carry it alone! You can lay it at the feet of Jesus, and sometimes we need help just letting go of our baggage and not picking it up again. We're in this together!