Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage . . . They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.
~Psalm 84:5

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Junkie Meets Jesus in a Trash Can

Last week I finished Colin Garnett's memoir, Junkie Meets Jesus in a Trash Can.  The BF gave me his copy when he came to visit in January.  Having come from a similar past as Garnett's, he thought it would give me some insight into the struggles and triumphs one encounters while trying to break free from addiction.  After reading this book I know one thing is for sure - it's nearly impossible to break the oppressive chains of addiction without the power of God.

That's actually a lesson I learned long ago, having invested so much over the past few years into the King's Arms Project.  There I met dozens of addicts who are eager to share their stories of heartache and pain, weeping over the tatters of their lives, vowing to give up the drugs or the drink or whatever else entangles them and holds them captive.  Yet the next day they turned up drunk again.  And the next, and the next.  An endless cycle of destructive addiction.  Most eventually lost their jobs and their families and their friends.  Some even lost their lives.  Somehow, the addiction was always stronger than their willpower and their love for their spouse or children; it was stronger than their self-respect and their dignity.  Yet, but by the grace of God, that could be me.  Or you.

I don't know what it's like to feel so hurt and hopeless that drugs are the only possible escape.  And I don't know what it's like to become so addicted to something that I'm unable to stop, even though I know it will cost me all I hold dearest to my heart.  In his book, Garnett gave me a glimpse of that.  His is an amazing story of how God can change one's life in an instant.  And it's a testimony of just how far He can pull you out of the pit, as long as you're willing to follow Him in obedience and faith.  I highly recommend you read this book.  I promise you'll love it so much you'll gladly overlook the various typos the editor missed in the last half of book and the occasional confusion caused by Garnett's stream of consciousness! 

Here's a excerpt that had me both laughing and crying:
Earl was baptized in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and he was dunked into the water. The singing erupted once again and people were crying with Earl. I was in stunned silence. The Christians started to disperse back to their seats, and the preacher went back to his Bible. He threw a gauntlet down to me when he asked, 'Is there anyone else here tonight who feels the need to receive Jesus into their life as personal Lord and Saviour?'
The question had not completely left the minister's lips, and I was standing up and taking my jeans off. I heard myself saying, 'I do! That's exactly how I feel!'
The whole congregation turned to look at me and as they all looked at me, I felt an inner urge to turn it all into a joke and sit back down. But the truth was, I could no longer live my life under the influence of what other people thought of me. I looked at them, and in a moment's clarity of heart, I knew I could not allow these guys to define me any longer.
I said, 'I need to know this Jesus for myself.'
My jeans went one way, my shirt went another, and I climbed into this trash can of water and tearfully fell to my knees.
I hope I didn't give anything away, especially since the title basically says it all anyway, but I just love this scene!

I've been on a memoir kick over the last year.  It all started with a book a borrowed from my friend Elaine called, The Reluctant Tuscan by Phil Doran.  Oh my, that is a hilarious book and I absolutely LOVED it!  I need to reread it and blog about it 'cause it is great!  Anywho, all that to say that the next book I've started is God's Heart for the Poor by Philippa Stroud.  It's really cool because it's basically the history of how King's Arms Project got started 20 years ago.  I love reading about familiar places, even though it makes me a bit homesick for Bedford.  The book is out of print, it's another one the BF lent me, and I'm having a hard time finding an image of the cover on google.  So I'll just have to post the title and author on the sidebar without the book image.  (Nevermind, I'll just have to leave the JMJINTC pic up for now 'cause I'm having element page issues . . . )  As for Junkie Meets Jesus in a Trash Can, I posted the link to the UK Amazon site since it gives slightly more info than the USA Amazon link, but I don't even think it's in print in the US.  But if you happen to come across a copy, read it.

1 comment:

Tirzah said...

Cool, I want to read the Jesus/Junkie/Trash can book! :)

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