A place to find Hope

Tag: Faith

Thoughts to Help You Survive

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Sorry I missed posting yesterday. Too may errands to do.

I have really enjoyed putting thoughts down for you to ponder.

I am going share some more today:

  1. We need to find encouragement in discouraging times.
  2. We will be given new bodies when we get to Heaven.
  3. Jesus didn’t have a New Testament, He IS the new testament.
  4. Selfish sin makes justice impossible.
  5. Who can test my faith when there is an army of Angels on my side?
  6. We spend way too much of our lives glued to the TV screen.
  7. When is the last time we have reflected on what Jesus has done for us?
  8. God’s plan is much better than anything we can expect.
  9. Are we living for ourselves, or for God?
  10. Some are always fighting not having enough, discontentment, discouragement, and bitterness.
  11. We all face storms. It is what we do with them that defines our character.
  12. If we think God has turned away from us, we lose all hope.
  13. God doesn’t take us through the worst paths. He takes us through the best path possible for us.
  14. Shame has no place to hide, because you are forgiven.
  15. My fear doesn’t have a chance, because God is always near.
  16. God knows what you want before you ask for it.
  17. I think back to my days with boom boxes, 8 track tapes, and CD’s. I have to accept the new makes the old absolete.
  18. I often hear God telling me, ” Now I am speaking to you, because you were not listening to me before.”
  19. Backsliding: Not believing in that which you already know is true.
  20. Forget what others think your are!

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I have been on complete lock down since early March.

That is seven months of self imprisioning. I only do dirve up for fast food, go to cardiac rehab, where there are several nurses, and a walk with my wife from time to time.

It is, of course, very hard on me. There only so many movies you can watch on TV. I am enjoying reading, and doing these blogs.

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The wild fires in Oregon have devastated many towns near me here.

Three towns were completely wipped out. The people there have bonded, and are helping each other with clean-up and support.

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It amazes me how people come together after they are faced with disaster.

It happens over and over again. This shows there is still love out there even though there is rioting everywhere.

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How are you doing?

Do you have some not so fun days? Have you been overwhelmed? BE STRONG! God is there with you. He will not forsake you. He made you in His image, and that makes you His child.

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+If you like what you see, please subscribe at the top of this page where it says, “subscribe.” When you do, all future posts will come directly to your inbox. Also, if you know some else who could benefit for the site, please let them know about it. Your comments will not be seen by other people, just me, and I will connect with you to see if you are OK to share it.

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

God Never Calls us to do Something easy

We are certainly in tough times in our country. The Pandemic virus is growing fast. There is mass rioting throughout our country. People are out of work because of the Pandemic. Children can not go back to school to learn.

I was told the other day that this is a huge sign of the end times.

It may be, but what do we do if it is?

We need to have FAITH!

1 Faith is always true.

2. Faith always goes forward.

3. When God speaks to us we have enough faith to say yes.

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God is in the business of doing the impossible. It sure makes you wonder why he is allowing so much chaos. Remember…God is in charge.

The world was shocked when President Trump won the presidential election. Shouldn’t have happened? GOD IS IN CHARGE!

He is watching over us. The next question is… Why is He allowing so much tragedy to happen? This is a tough question. However, God gave us choices. He allowed us to make our own decisions, and then face Him later. That is why dictators exist. That is why there is sex trafficking. That is why there are wars. That is hard for us to have to face, but it is reality with god.

All the rioters, seem to think what they are doing and is noble. They think they are heroes. God will be speaking to each of them later.

How about you? Are you walking the narrow path, or the wide path to destruction? God knows and you know. He knows every hair on your head. There is no place to hide from Him.

Now, I have made God sound like a mean, awful person. Know that He loves you very much. He made you in His own image. He wants the best for you.

BUT, we have to abide by His rules, not ours. There is a wonderful manual to guide you on how to act and how to be. It is called the Bible. If you read and live by it, you are in God loving graces.

So, God never calls us to do anything easy. A friend once told me,”Life is tough and then you die.” Pretty sad. That was many years ago that he told me that, but it still sticks with me today.

Don’t be allowing the dark side to overcome you. Look to the light, which is Jesus Christ our Lord. He died so that you have a chance for eternal life. I say you have a chance, because you have to accept him as your personal savior to receive that gift.

Life IS tough, but be strong and know that God is with you during your storms.

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…Never, ever, give up!

Don’t Pass Your Fears Onto Others

There have been very trying times in our country lately. There is the Pandemic that is causing havoc. Now there is rioting all over this country.

There is widespread panic and people are full of fear.

One of the most important things we can do is to not pass our fears onto others. Yes, we do have fear, but please do not let it spread.

There are many things that are hurting people. Think of the high school students who can’t do their sports that they love. I certainly understand that. There is also no graduation ceremony. This will be the year they will want to forget.

As Christians, we must remember that God is always there. Jesus is always there.

We don’t need to find proof that they exist. We know about faith through God’s Word and His promises.

Yes, real faith doesn’t have all the facts. There all those who don’t believe just because they don’t have all the facts. True faith takes us beyond the facts.

What does all of this have to do with riots and the Pandemic? Both of these are major storms in our lives.

These storms may be more than we can handle, and God says to turn all your worries over to Him.

Let’s make this clear…. God didn’t cause the virus, or the riots. He doesn’t want any of His people to be hurt.

Things to think about during these tough times:

What do you think God is saying during this Pandemic, and rioting?

What do your think God is doing during this time?

What can YOU do to find rest during this time. ?

Be strong for not only you, but your family. Spreading fear is like putting gasoline on a fire.

I need to remind myself, and you, that all this pain and suffering is not going to waste. God in charge and He will figure everything out for us.

He is standing in the fire with us.

I guess the overwhelming question is….What is it going to be like after the Pandemic.? What is it going to be like after the rioting stops. Only God knows, and we need to trust Him and allow Him to take action for us.

Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

Now What Do I do???

It has been a long time since I last posted. I have many excuses, but you don’t want to come to my pity party.

We live in a very interesting time. Can’t go to my favorite restaurant. Can’t hug my children. Can’t go grocery shopping. (I am one of those special people who have underlining problems.)

The list could on much longer, but you all know what they are. We are basically locked down in our homes.

So what do we do now?

Here are some suggestions:

  1. Yes, you can watch TV all day.
  2. You can go on walks. My wife and I just got in from our walk. (Thought I was going to die, but now I am really glad it did it.)
  3. Get creative in your projects around the house. I have cleaned out to drawers that have been a mess for years. Very organized now.
  4. Call everyone you know to see how they are doing. You will put a smile on their face, which puts one on your face.
  5. Read a book. I feel that is what many are doing. Suggestion…The Bible. It is full of drama, happy endings, sad endings, and much hope. You will not find any other book so prefect for what we are going through right now.

I, of course saved the best for last. My Bible is my fortress, which is full of hope, praise, encouragement, faith, love, and much more.

Are you struggling with life right now? Do you feel depressed, and alone? You have many on that same boat with you.

Never let the dark side overcome you. Don’t fall for Satan’s lies that you are worthless.

God made you in His image. He loves you. He will protect you and guide you. Got doesn’t make mistakes. You are His child and He has a purpose for you.

Remember:

You are never unloved.

You are never Alone.

You are not forsaken.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

Looking Back at the Holidays

The holidays are past, but I have had time to reflect and thought I would share some thoughts.

We should have joy around the holidays, but some don’t think so. They have to face their relatives.

From that I learned that we need to have a family mentality.

We need need to be related by faith, family, caring. If we do that and more, we are a family that is glorious.

Yes, we have some relatives that we have differences with. When they come to visit it seems like they know what buttons to push to make us angry.

How do we deal with that?

Even if there is a problem with one of the relatives, we need to know that they have needs just like we do. We need to calmly sit with them and seek out the problems and try to find ways to help.

This should cause a miracle. They will be glad someone cares, and they will look at you in a whole new way.

I Have learned to pray for them.

I am so angry sometimes that this is very hard. If I can just spend 30 seconds praying for them that would be a good start. Then stretch it out to 35 seconds, and so on. I realized the more I prayed for them the less I was angry. It should be like daily exercise. The more you pray the stronger you become.

Try this out and let me know how it goes. Show me other ways I can reach out to those I sometimes find unpleasant.

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There is much happening causing me to roll fast on finishing my second book, “Signs of Hope for the Military: In an Out of the trenches of Life.” All I have left are a few interviews with veterans who have been in the trenches. Their stories will warm your heart. They will cause you to cry, and wanting to help them.

You can go to http://www.dougbolton.com to see the progress.

You should always remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

Don’t Let Others Define Your Faith

This is the second of a series of discussions on Faith. My last post mention the sadness of thinking there was no hereafter. They who have no faith feel that they die and then turn into dust.

For those of us who believe and have faith, there is a bright path we are walking on. We know where we are going. We know because we saw the last chapter of the book.

One mistake we all make is to try to keep calmness around us, because there are many who will persecute us for our beliefs. We fear we can’t come up with the right things to say when we are challenged.

Here are some thoughts on that.

  1. You never have to try to convince anyone about their own lives being wrong. They already know it, and will probably attack if you mention it.
  2. My thought is to just share why I believe without out judging the other person. I share what my life was before I believed and the after I believed.
  3. Let them ask you questions. Don’t worry about getting the answers wrong. They are now in a different level. They are inquisitive.
  4. Just show other about your faith by your everyday actions. I have had more people ask me why I am so optimistic all the time. Boom! I can open up my heart. Many times They say they want some of that.
  5. Don’t hide your faith, but you also don’t need to stand on a corner and shout, “You are going to Hell, if you don’t believe!”I have gone to big sporting events, and sure enough there are always one or two people outside who are screaming at you. To many they are driving people away not bringing them closer.

The bottom line is that you just need to be you, and show others your love and caring way. That is a living testimony.

Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all….never, ever, give up!!

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This is where I share some more about my upcoming book.

Today I am going to share how the book is laid out.

  1. The book starts out with me sharing my life while I was in the military.
  2. I share some funny and not so funny things that happened to me in basic training.
  3. I then share my advanced training school time.
  4. After that I was deployed to South Korea. Many stories. Some scary.
  5. Then I will share my time at Ft. Bragg. My scariest moment happened there.

This is the best part:

The rest of the will be actual interviews with veterans who have been in the trenches. I can guarantee you some of the stories will be very scary, sad, and tense. They will be some humor as well.

The appendix at the end will have several pages for jobs and careers for the military. Very extensive.

Subscribe:

By subscribing, you will get all these posts sent directly to your in box. It will be a good way to keep up on how the book is going. Just lick on the subscribe icon at the top right of the page.

What Does Faith Really Mean?

What is faith? How does it work? What does it mean to us?

The dictionary says that faith is:

1.Trust

2. Belief in something we can’t see.

What are the myth misconceptions about Faith?

Faith is contrary to common sense.

Faith is contrary to reason.

Faith is contrary to science.

Now let me share some thoughts on Faith.

Faith gives us strength.

Faith gives us courage.

Faith in something never seen, gives you hope.

The main thing we all have are difference levels in faith on the reality that there is a God. Some people laugh at those who believe that. They say it is not possible.

So what do they have going for them if they are right? Nothing! They spend their days on this earth, and when they check out they have nowhere to go in their eyes. They think they turn into dust.

Not very good way to live their lives.

Now, for those who have faith. There is hope. There is anticipation of eternal life. There is the peace that they have somewhere to go after they check out of this hotel called earth. They enjoy life, and take each day as a gift from God.

So, for me having hope, and anticipation, is far better than fearing death, and trodding along each day.

Believe and have faith. Be happy and joyful. Each day is blessed.

Remember:

You are not alone.

You are not forsaken.

You are not unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

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+++I will be using this spot to start up dating you on my new book coming out soon. It is called,”Signs of Hope: In an Out of the Trenches of Life.”

This book is written just for our veterans and our current military. It reaches out to those who may be suffering with anxiety, fear, depression, PTSD, TBI, etc.

One part of the book is set aside with interviews of veterans. Many pages of interviews, with thoughts and hurts from those who have actually been in trenches.

I will share part of one interview for you now:

Just yesterday I had and interview with a WWII and Korean veteran. He shared some pretty scary moments. The one that was amazing was that he was being sent to Korea for the “conflict.” He was in a hanger waiting to be assigned what plane he was to ride one. Then he saw an old buddy from his WWII days. They hugged and was trying to catch up when the sergeant started calling name by the alphabet. He saw he wasn’t going to be on the same plane with his buddy. He ask if he could be changed to the other plane. The sergeant said there was nothing he could do. The veteran then saw the officer in charge. He went up to him and asked him if he could change. The officer said no. The veteran kept asking, and the officer finally said, “Get on the other plane now and get out of my hair.”

The veteran went to the other plane. The plane he was supposed to be on took off and they followed. They were in the air on their way to Korea. They got to Wake Island; refueled and took off again. The first plane suddenly crashed killing everyone on board. The veteran I was interviewing was supposed to be on that plane. The words he used to describe his feelings about what happened will either have you in tears or in awe.

More information about the book in later posts. Need to subscribe to keep up with what is happening with the book. Just click on the subscribe button at the top of the page and go from there. Then you will get an update right to you inbox each time I post.

What are we doing Here?

This will be my first blog in over a month. There are many excuses that I can throw at you. I could even invite you to my pity party. 

I am not going to do that anymore. I am just going to write, write, write! Daily Signs of Hope is just that. I should be putting out posts that give you. I should forget my troubles and share what my hurts are and how I have overcome them. 

A year ago I was in the fast lane doing daily posts and reaching out to over 108,000 subscribers. The site crashed and left me with zero. All 108,000 are going.

I am asking you to show the hackers that they didn’t win. I am asking you to subscribe and help me build this blog back up to where it is helping people every day. Just click on the subscribe sign at the top right.It will guide you from there.

Then you will get a post in your box every time one is written, that is full compassion, love, and hope. 

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So, what are we doing here today. What meaning is there to life. Is there a reason why I was born? 

It is near Christmas time. It is supposed to be a time of joy and happiness. Not all people feel that way. Some don’t have what others take for granted. Examples could be: No home, Job, health insurance, or family. There are many more some people are facing, but I am pretty sure you get the picture. 

So, what can we do to help stop that?

I have thought about this for several months. What on earth can I do to reach out to those who are suffering?  

  1. If it is a neighbor who is suffering. Call them and give them some kinds words. Go to them just to talk and be a friend.
  2. Check the senior centers in your area. There are seniors there every day who have no one to talk to, or be friends with. An hour from you being with them can give them hope. 
  3. There are more and more assisted living homes in our areas. That is a place that is oozing with people have have been left and forgotten. I know because my mother was int one before she passed. I was there every day to cheer her up, but as I looked around there were so many who were just sitting in a corner looking sad. CHEER THEM UP!  
  4. Send a letter to someone you know is hurting. It can be short but loaded with hope. Getting a letter can brighten anyone’s life. 
  5. You finish making this list. I am sure, by now you have thought of some other things you can do. ENJOY!

Some other thoughts I have come up with this week are: Everyone seems to greet you with “Happy Holiday!” What does that mean to you? Saying Happy Holiday, literally, means Holy Day. Christmas is not a Holy Day. It is the birth of Jesus Christ. A common man who was a carpenter. Never really had a home. He lived with believers. 

Speaking of Jesus Christ…think about this. As a mother or father, how would you feel if your only son was dead at 33? That sounds very sad, but Jesus was crucified when he was only 33 years old.  I can’t imagine the torment I would be feeling if I watch as they hung one of my son’s up on a cross to die, and yet Jesus didn’t thinking of us. He did it for us so that we can have eternal life. 

Now I am speaking right at you. Yes you! 

Never feel alone. Never assume no one cares for you. Never hide from the world because you feel you have no self worth. I love you! I really do. If you need special help fill out the comment section, and I will pray for you. 

Remember

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You and never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!!

+++Check out my author site at https://dougbolton.com/ Updates on the new book: “Signs of Hope for the MIlitary: In and Out of the Trenches of Life.”

A Special Veterans Day Tribute.

It is such a good feeling to be back with you. I have been down for almost a year do to technical difficulties. 

I lost over 108,000 follower over night. I am starting over. You can let the hackers know they didn’t win by subscribing. You can do this by clicking on the icon at the top of this page that says, “Subscribe.” You will then get a post in your inbox everything there is a post. 

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As a treat I have invited a young man to post. I was down for the veterans day celebrations, so this is a day late, but the thoughts are spot on. Please read Taylor Wilkins From Fellowship of Christian Athletes, aho is having a marvelous impact in the high schools of Salem Oregon.

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“When God’s people lead, hope is the outcome.”

“You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.”
II Timothy 2:1-4

Yesterday was Veterans Day, a day to honor people of courage, love, and sacrifice. I grew up in a community where veterans day was a really big deal. The community, and especially my high school celebrated Veterans Day at a level I don’t think most ever experience. In fact, my high school put on a veterans day assembly that lasted the entire school day, and brought in veterans from around the united states. We had veterans representing both World Wars, Tuskegee airman, Jewish Holocaust survivors, and many more. One year our school was featured on national news to showcase the veterans day assembly. It was an incredible honor to have all those amazing people share their lives with us for the day!

I believe we have many things to learn from our war heroes, and I think 2 Timothy 2 does a great job identifying some excellent qualities in soldiers.

Here are 4 Leadership qualities that Christians can learn from soldiers:

1) Soldiers are Strong– That might sound overly simplistic, but I believe it’s at the core of every great leader. If you are going to begin your journey as a Christian leader you have to be strong! Faith is the ability to see hope in the midst of life’s trials— weakness in faith blinds you from seeing hope. What I love about this quality is everyone can grow in Spiritual strength, just like we can all grow in physical strength. Getting stronger might be uncomfortable, but we need to consistently exercise our faith if we want to see growth!

2) Soldiers are Listeners— Whether it’s boot camp or the commanding officer leading his troops into battle, soldiers have to be acute listeners, eager to learn, and committed to following through! Believers who haven’t learned how to listen will struggle to find personal breakthrough, and will fail to see the fruitfulness God designed them for. God is always speaking, but if we don’t learn to listen we will miss out on His encouragement, and the hope-filled adventures God wants to take us on!

3)Soldiers are Faithful— Soldiers are trained to respond to obstacles and a variety of challenges by putting others first. Whether sacrificing for their Country, fellow soldiers or family, soldier’s embrace a mindset that always puts others first. Jesus demonstrated perfect faithfulness in his journey to the cross. Jesus sweet great drops of blood before heading to the cross because the weight of His calling was so heavy, yet He didn’t waiver, but fixed his face like flint toward the cross! Even though his road wasn’t easy he remained faithful to the call on His life. As a believer, you were created for the same kind of faithfulness Jesus demonstrated. Don’t get down on yourself if you feel like you have fallen short, God is still working in you and through you. Closeness with Jesus will always draw faithfulness out of your life!

4) Soldiers Endure Hardship— Soldiers must count the cost of serving their country. Before soldiers train for war, they must be willing to lay down your life. If a soldier can’t do that, he won’t be ready for action when he’s called to the front lines. Christian leaders are called to count the cost. Faith in Jesus comes with many blessings and promises for abundance, but it also comes with the promise of persecution. Jesus said, “if they persecuted me, they will persecute you.” Enduring hardship is one of the most attractive qualities in Christian Leaders because it draws out confidence in other believers.

When we grow closer to God we will see these qualities exponentially increase in our lives. I believe we will see more Christians standing at the front lines of leadership within politics, business, education, psychology and every type of profession.

Soldiers live their lives on a mission and with purpose. As God’s Children I believe we need to do the same. When God gives us clarity in those areas I believe we and the world around us will be flooded with hope!

“You are loved more than you know, and God’s plan for you is bigger than your biggest dream!”

Taylor Wilkins
FCA
(503)754-3783

“In all your getting, get understanding”

Visit the authors site

A Mother’s Love

Linda Clare shares with us again the battles she faces in her family with addictions. 

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A Mother’s Love

By Linda S. Clare

He was her baby, after all. Coming off a binge, all he wanted was a dry spot to sleep and some Taco Bell. For three days, the mom fed and sheltered her addicted adult son. Then, he’d melted back onto the streets, and she settled into familiar guilt and worry. Her biggest fear? By providing food and shelter, she’d enabled him.

His addiction had crushed her countless times, but loving nurture still guided her. A fast-food meal or three. A couple of days sleeping in the guest room. The inevitable fresh heartbreak the moment he said goodbye. And sadly, the guilt of being branded: Enabler. Codependent. Tough Love failure.

For decades, Tough Love has been standard advice to families. In theory, you kick the addict out, he hits bottom and asks for help. In reality, Tough Love is not a one-size-fits-all answer.

I can’t judge others’ circumstances—especially when Tough Love is used to ensure safety or sanity. Some recovering addicts say they couldn’t see the light until their wife, sibling or parent turned them out into the cold.

But it’s hard not to feel as if we’re at war. One side believes Tough Love is the only way, even when evidence doesn’t back it up. The other side argues for Just Love—staying in relationship—even when loved ones are mistreated or manipulated. Neither side wins.

It’s time for a ceasefire.

Addiction is awful enough without judging those caught in its crossfire. We’d make more progress if we stopped blaming loved ones for what they do or don’t do in dealing with addicts. Kicking out your addict may be right for you. But not kicking out the addict isn’t always wrong.

We’re all doing the best we can.

I’ll never forget the day a treatment center director looked at me and said, “You’re as sick as your son is.” In her eyes I was a codependent enabler—helping, rescuing, tolerating my addicted son. I deserved blame, the theory goes, because enabling makes possible an addict’s continued use and prevents him from “hitting bottom.” As if enablers feed off addicts’ failures and help the poor addicts so they can be heroes. As if enabling causes addicts to stay addicted.

Carrie Wilkens, PhD, clinical director of the Center for Motivation and Change in New York City, specializes in evidence-based therapies and sees it quite differently. “There’s an implicit assumption that the codependent is getting something out of it,” she says. “Like the desire to be a hero or rescuer or benefactor. But that could not be farther from truth.”

I’ve thought long and hard about my role in my three adult sons’ addictions. I believe in Just Love, showing mercy and compassion. I want my boys to get better, so yes, I feed them. I hate seeing them suffer but I need to know they’re alive, so I shelter them. I love them so, yes, I keep loving them. Do I make mistakes? Of course. But I don’t believe I’m a hero—or that I’m responsible for their decisions.

Where does loving Parent end and destructive Enabler begin? If you’re a parent of an addict or alcoholic, you know how blurry the boundary can be. You’ve tenderly cared for your child since birth. Now, he’s grown, but it’s hard to stop nurturing—to stop momming or dadding. Especially if you feel wrong no matter what you do.

All the choices are terrible. Employ Tough Love—toss out an addicted adult son or daughter, and the pain of not knowing where they are can be too great. Some parents suffer for years, not knowing where or even if their son or daughter lives. Too often, our worst fears come to pass without even a chance to say, “I love you” one last time.

Yes, sometimes Tough Love is the only way. An adult addict who behaves in ways that make a mom or dad fear for their lives can’t be tolerated. No one should be subjected to continual abuse from an addict, or anyone for that matter. But not every family is the same.

Whether you favor Tough Love or Just Love, labeling addicts’ loved ones as enablers only sucks all the hope out of the room.

And hope is really what this fight is about. It’s about holding onto hope when no answers emerge, or when people treat your family as if it’s diseased. For instance, a few years ago, a Christian woman told me that because my sons deal with addiction, I must not have raised them right. I was speechless, picturing a giant toilet flushing us worthless Clare addicts right down where we belonged. What I heard was, not only are your kids hopeless, you are too.

Since then, I’ve set some rules: I try to limit my “help” to basic needs like food and shelter. I don’t hand out money. Addiction is still alive and well in my family, but I can sleep at night knowing I’ve acted in love.

I’m still searching for the perfect response to my sons, but I’m surer than ever that each addict’s family is as unique as the addict. There may be no “right” method to parent an addict, but I take a few cues from my faith.

If God ever kicked me out so I could hit bottom, I’d have no hope. If you’re an addict and even your mom gives up on you, how much more difficult will it be to keep hope alive?

That’s why I venture into my sons’ jungle of despair—to reassure them of my love and blow on any embers of hope they may have left. I offer my addicts the same compassion I’d show a stranger or an angel unaware.

We who care about addicts should be able to provide a hot meal, a place to sleep, a kind word without being blamed as enablers. To gently offer open hands instead of closed fists. To stop blaming and start listening.

“Faith, hope, Love, these three abide,” the scripture says. “But the greatest of these is Love.” The mom who nurtured her addicted son with cheap tacos and a place to rest showed her son that her faith in him is alive. She still hopes for him and in him. And she loves him as only a mother can.

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