The moon is playing hide and seek with the Cheyenne Mountain Range as I drive to the monthly meeting known NCO Night Out. There is no light shining from the celestial body, just an ethereal glow that radiates around the peak of Cheyenne Mountain. Being from Mississippi, I have never seen anything to compare to this. The closest I have ever come is seeing a full moon in Iraq. My memory stirs as I recall the moon that night. It was full, round, and it appeared to hang so low you could touch it with your hand. It was a great night.
As I drive down I-25, I think back to the passage of Scripture which declares the moon will be red like blood, which is a sign to signify the Lord’s return. Fear grips my heart as I ponder my current spiritual status. “Dear God, I am not ready to meet you. Please have mercy on my soul.” Asking for mercy is out of character for me. Usually, I am the one who is asked to show mercy. It seems a bit like role reversal and I am uncomfortable with the change. I was raised a Christian, and I know the truth. There is no excuse I can make for the way I live. To compound my misery, I struggle with addiction and alcoholism.
My addiction is of my own making. I take the pills to kill the darkness in my heart, I drink to keep my demons at bay. None of it helps. When I take the pills, my temper is shorter than usual. This leads to numerous misunderstandings which is caused by my need to stay high. It doesn’t help me fight the darkness, nor does it keep the demons at bay. It makes me remember the horror of war, to relive every loss, every moment of tragedy plays out in the theater of my mind This is a hell of my own making.
As I make my way to the bar, I dread another empty evening. Sure, I will go through the motions and act like all is well. Whiskey will be drunk, jokes will be told, and my heart will still be empty. At any time, I could go back to church and give my heart to God, but my pride will not let me. Instead, I pour whiskey down my throat until my troubles seem small. The following morning, I pay the price for my drinking. It is the same ole song and dance. I question if God would have mercy on me because of the choices I have made. “Is there a limit to the Grace of God?” With all my heart, I hope there isn’t.
Years pass and my heart remains empty.
Then out of the clear blue sky, redemption presents itself to me as loss. 21 September 2019