Monday, April 1, 2013

On the Road to Perdition...The Rescue

Spirituality teaches believers that just before you hit rock bottom, and think that there is no help or alternatives left for you in this life...then a breakthrough is right around the corner. This may well be true, but try convincing a drug- addicted prostitute that it applies to her too. If she hasn't become totally devoid of hope or completely De-sensitized from living a life of decadence and depravity there might be a chance in hell she'll buy it.  She might grab hold to the promise of these few powerful words and start to believe she can be rescued from perdition. And her soul could be saved even if her life has been destroyed.

Miracles still happen in this modern day world. Years later, Myranda Clayton Rice will stand in front of various groups of people and represent a miracle. She will be a living example of the power of salvation and the people who taught her how to live again as a whole, and as a well human being.
Justin Reid found Myranda lying in the doorway of a vacant Salvation Army store in a dangerous and run down part of the city. She was alone and totally zonked out from smoking crack-cocaine.

Her clothes were dirty and torn, and her body reeked of an awful pungent mixture of stale sex, cigarette smoke and plain old body odor. He could smell her from five feet away. She looked like she hadn't bathed in weeks, and at first he thought she was dead. He came closer and without touching her, he could hear her raspy gasps for breath and see the drool running out of her open mouth. His first thought was "pneumonia" if not worse. Under all of the filth and drool Justin could see soft feminine features and a face that had once probably been quite beautiful, but was now ravaged and hard.

Her feet were bare (she'd probably sold her shoes for a fix) and her long hair was a tangled matted mess. But despite this, there was a certain...presence about her. She had a presence and he looked forward to learning her story. Her breath was coming harder and raspier now, and her arms started flailing about almost involuntarily. She needed help and she need it now.

No use in trying to call 911 in this part of town. They would not respond anyway, so Justin pulled out his cell phone and punched in the number to his friend and partner Marcus Sisto. Five years ago, Justin himself had been in almost the same situation as this young woman lying here in this sad and pathetic condition. Marcus Sisto had rescued him. His wife Noelle ( who is lovingly called "Pink" by family and close friends) had taken him in, cleaned him up and gotten him into a comprehensive drug rehabilitation program that had worked.

Whenever he had wanted to give up or turn back to the streets, Pink would show him tough love and sit up with him til all hours of the morning talking and talking and talking...until his urges had subsided and he could once again function within his resolve. Marcus was a retired cop turned advocate turned father image. His gruff manner and street smarts coupled with a strange sort of compassion made him the ideal father figure to other guys like Justin. So many guys and women owed their lives to Marcus and Pink.

He had vowed when he became clean and sober that he would give back. So, it was part of his ritual to make his nightly rounds through this particular part of the city where he would most likely find someone in need. Here there were plenty of dark places to hide, and virtually no chance of being found until perhaps someone might pass by when daylight came. He dropped down on his haunches and looked at the woman closer while he was waiting for Noelle to show up. She'd told him that Marcus was in a counseling session with a potential suicide and that she'd be there as quick as she could get there.

The two of them would take her back to the six bedroom house that was co-owned by the three of them and another partner; Jeremiah Cummings. They provided a clean and safe place to the people they rescued until a place became available in a rehab center. Then, the person would have to enter of their own accord and 90% of the two hundred and thirty-five men and women they'd helped over the past three years did just that. The rest went out on their own thinking they could lick their addictions by themselves, and a small part of that ten percent had relatives or loving and supporting parents who reached out to them.

Because Justin fully believed in the good causes the Sistos and Jeremiah Cummings fought for, he had no compunction about investing his life savings into becoming a full partner with them. Each partner had invested a large portion of private funds, and they had been the beneficiary of a few endowments, but they always managed to keep up the Haven House with comfortable furnishings, plenty of food that Pink prepared all on her own mostly, and medical bill payments for those who needed immediate help.

The woman moaned a few times and screamed out loud. He bent over to her and tried to talk to penetrate through the dense drug-induced fog in her mind. When he tried to touch her, she kicked him and tried to scramble away from him. With a harsh laugh, Justin could recognize these signs...she needed a fix ...bad. When she got up screaming and trying to run away, he actually tackled her to bring her down and he sat on her to keep her still. All the while he was talking to her telling her she'd be okay, she'd make it ; just calm down...calm down...calm down.

Whether there was something in his voice or divine intervention he did not know but grateful that she began to hear and listen to him. By the time Pink and Jeremiah drove up, the woman had become limp in his arms and her screams had subsided to pitiful whimpers. He was rocking her in his arms. He was thinking about how this one seemed different from others, how he felt a strange unexplained tenderness toward her already. He held her close and whispered for her to hold on;  that help had come.

1 comment:

elle said...

Thank God for people like Justin who give back to the community.