Saturday, September 13, 2003


I met Dave about 12 years ago during the course of a news feature I was producing. He is an extremely intelligent man and a gifted musician. We quickly learned we shared a certain twisted sense of humor. My sense of humor bends more like Gumby when compared to Dave's which can, at times, flex like a triple jointed acupuncture-practicing contortionist whose act has moved by popular demand from the sideshow to center stage.

We share common histories. In our teen years, both of us fancied ourselves rebels who were plunging into waters uncharted.

In fact, we bore a closer resemblance to lemmings cloaking our oblivion behind drugs, booze, long hair and loud music.

It was that affinity for alcohol that cemented our relationship.

We've never had a drink together.

Dave quit drinking before I met him. When he learned I was giving up alcohol he went out of his way to encourage me. Many of the friends I had known much longer were cheering me on in the opposite direction. Dave's support proved invaluable.

About a year after I met Dave, I met Amy. I didn't know Amy well, but I knew she was struggling mightily. Her marriage was ending. The support system she had bound herself to spiritually and financially proved to have faults within its foundation. She was broke, jobless and essentially homeless.

Dave didn't know Amy at all, but upon learning of her situation, he and his wife, and a number of their friends, instinctively rallied around her. They provided her shelter, food, and more importantly reassurance of hope amidst her pain and fear. Dave opened Amy's eyes to the knowledge that there are many good people in the world who do not call themselves Christians. This, at a time when she had no choice but to learn that many self-professed Christians are not necessarily good people.

Although Dave and I have much in common, there are stark differences in our lives. As I grew out of my teen years, I cut my hair and turned the volume down on my stereo. I began paying attention to the world around me, working more, and partying less. I became, for lack of a better phrase, a contributing member of society.

Dave's hair is still down around his waistband and he sports skull rings, spike laden leather wrist bands, and a general disdain for the world and reality. Yet he manages to live his life. He is still married and is a caring father.

Around the same time I met Dave, I also reintroduced myself to God. I've had a relationship with Him all this time too.

For many of those same years, Dave developed a different relationship...with heroin.

My first inclination when I realized he was using heroin was to abandon Dave.

Luckily, I came to my senses.

Several years ago, after seeing Dave in a state that I thought was a mere footfall from death, I used what small influence I had with him. I threatened Dave with the only thing we really had -- our relationship. I told him I couldn't watch him kill himself.

I don't think that was the lone motivating factor but, to the best of my knowledge, Dave has given up heroin. However, he is still a drug user...and not in the casual sense.

Last night, Amy and I had dinner with Dave, his wife, and stepson. It was wonderful. We laughed and told stories. We still enjoy each other's company.

Dave has no relationship with God. Honestly, I really don't foresee that he ever will, although I will pray I am wrong.

It's bizarre that Amy and I associate with him at all. We are leaders in a Baptist church.

Yet I can't help but feel that I owe it to God to maintain this relationship...and I know I owe it to Dave.

Romans 13:8
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.