A Story About Loving Ones Neighbor
Our first shock when we moved into our low-income apartment in a Midwestern inner city was the amount of substance abuse that surrounded us. Suddenly, alcohol is no longer fun. Instead it is a substance that changes my friends and neighbors, making them unpredictable and unsafe; it leaves me feeling helpless and afraid and vulnerable. It makes me question my faith in God, struggling to find hope for those who are addicted. In my neighborhood, it was becoming clear: righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit were tied to breaking the chains of my neighbors’ addictions. Since so many were caught in the cycle of stumbling and picking themselves up again, it became good for me to not drink, as a way to stand with the brothers and sisters I was learning to love. I didn’t give up alcohol because I wanted to flee the evils of the world. I gave up alcohol as a way of engaging the evils of the world.