Sunday, December 10, 2006
Waiting for the Light, Again
I have not written about it, but my son has been incarcerated for several months now. We had gotten him out and about a month after that he got in trouble again. When we got him out the first time, the judge and I both told him if he got into any more trouble, he would have to sit in jail until his court date.
Thanksgiving was hard for me. And Christmas was looking even harder. We have an appointment with the DA on Monday to talk to him about some possibilities for getting my son some help. I have been fretting over the fact that he was going to be locked up for Christmas and was thinking we could maybe get him out and have him sent to rehab soon after Christmas.
But this past week, an incident occurred which reminded me of how fragile and elusive success is when you are dealing with addiction. We had a young man working for us from a local halfway house and he did not make it into work on Thursday. The people in charge called from the halfway house to tell us that he and three others had tested positive for drugs. We could not believe it. This young man had been counting up the months till he could get out. Now he goes straight back to jail and he loses his good behavior time so he will be serving a longer sentence.
I think we could bail my son out and have him home for Christmas, I think the DA is shocked that we have not done so. And sometimes, it feels cruel to leave him in there when we could get him out and bring him home. But lately, I have had the feeling that what my son needs is more time to wait and figure out that this is his problem and he has t o devote himself to helping himself. I can't do it for him.
I have been trying to encourage him and to remind him of his progress (he has been working on preparing for his GED test and has made great improvements). It is so hard sometimes to know what to do. It hurts to visit him once a week and not be able to touch him or hug him. It's very hard to think of him being in there over the Christmas holidays. But these thoughts have come to me, thoughts of Advent in jail, and waiting in darkness, thoughts that maybe that is how it needs to be, as hard as that is to accept. There are no easy answers.
And maybe I need to deliberately and consciously quiet myself and wait with expectation, as hard as that is to accept.
Does that make any sense whatsoever? As far as my son (and I) are concerned, does it make sense that I should consider this a time of waiting in darkness for the light to come and shine, in particular for my son? Isn't that a part of the task of Advent, waiting for God to show up in the darkness? Could I dare trust that this is a season pregnant with hope, that my son might suffer the darkness of a jail cell in this wonderful season and might emerge with a greater appreciation and a stronger desire for life in the Light?
I had this terrible dream one night that some sympathetic souls had bailed him out and they did not know his problem and when they found out, they were trying to call to let me know he was out and on his way to get drugs, but I almost did not get the phone call because the caller was not sure of my name and we thought it was a prank call. I awoke in a panic with my thoughts set on running to rescue him, and then I thought, I wonder if he is angry at us for not getting him out of that terrible place? Oh my God, the agony. May God's protective hand remain upon my son's shoulder.