A few weeks ago we had a party at our house to celebrate a friend’s birthday. In the midst of the craziness that was taking place all around us our neighbor took me aside and asked if he could talk to me. He asked me to keep everything he was telling me a secret, so I have not been able to share any of this with my husband or friends. This is my way of putting it into the world so that maybe he can get some prayer that will help. Here is his story.
His name is Greg and he is 32. He just moved out of his mother’s house for the first time in his life. When he was a young child his dad used to beat him until he was completely bloody. His mother would intervene and try to help him but then his dad would turn on her. He beat him until he was a teenager when finally his dad realized that was not the way he should be showing affection to his son. He showed true remorse and never hit him again.
Wayne, his dad, used to be ex-military who retired and became a car salesman. He eventually owned his own dealership and was making quite a lot of money. One day one of the mechanics on site was test driving a car when they hit Wayne. For years he had to undergo surgeries and take loads of painkillers to even be able to survive the pain. Years later he grew tired of always being drugged so he began weaning himself off of them. It was four years ago and Christmas was right around the corner so he was on the roof one night hanging the lights. He slipped and fell and was rushed to the hospital. He claimed he was fine but the hospital prescribed him quite a few painkillers to get him through the next few days. Greg came home the next day to find his dad overdosed and dead on the couch. He sat in front of me at this party on the back porch and sobbed. He sobbed so hard he could hardly catch his breath or get out another sentence. He told me how he will never forget the image of walking in and seeing his dad lying there dead with blood pouring out of his mouth. His mother falling to her knees in tears at her husbands side. They have never told anyone that his dad killed himself. They let people believe it was an accidental overdose. They spent every dime they had on his dad’s funeral. Eventually they declared bankruptcy and their house was foreclosed on.
Greg now has a real job, that pays him crap, but at least gets him an apartment and benefits. You would think he would be in the best place he has ever been. He has a job and living on his own. He is not. He is suffering with severe depression and loneliness. He sat in front of me for an hour telling me how he doesn’t want to go on living, and how he does not have anything to fight for. Greg was just diagnosed a few weeks ago with lung cancer. He has been smoking for 16 years. A year ago he was sent to the emergency room for a freak accident at work. They told him he had a lump on his lungs and that it could be scar tissue or a possible tumor. He never had the money to get it checked out, so for a whole year this tumor has been growing and taking over his body. He has no idea what stage it is in. I convinced him to let me take him to another doctor that could give him a second opinion but only if I agreed not to tell anyone.
It is quite a burden I have had on my shoulders for these last few weeks. I can honestly say I have done everything possible to help Greg. I spent over an hour consoling him on the death of his father and the cancer. We talked about the grace of the Lord and what he can offer him. We have had that discussion before but I think this time it really hit home. He agreed to going to church with us and giving it a shot. In the meantime I will be praying he opens his heart to the Lord.
So please, pray for my friend Greg.