MONDAY: Hello Friend

BY KEN COLSON

Copyright is held by the author.

NOT EVERYBODY gets a chance to talk directly to Jesus, although I know a lot of people try. There was only one time in my life that I ever spoke with Him and I remember it like it was yesterday.

I woke up wearing my overalls, one boot on and one boot off. I was feeling mighty terrible.  Once again on the wrong side of a drinking spell. The springs complained as I rolled off my sagging mattress and staggered towards the privy. Once I got there, I steadied, opened the door and in I went. Raising my arms, I shucked down my overalls and sat right down.

That’s when I heard it. Something done fell from my pocket and hit my wet bare foot. I might pretend that I didn’t know. I might want to say I was just curious. But I knew. I knew right then, it was a bottle. I reached down and there he was.

Good morning Friend.

I raised him up off that rough floor like I was picking up an infant. I caressed him. I cradled him. I held him up to a splinter of morning light.

Friend. Why Friend, you are almost full!

My heart sang and Friend sang along. We were a choir.

Then the first note of discontent. My body would not, could not rejoice. Not one more time, my body said. And just like that, there was a full-on rebellion. The choir sang louder, but the Rebels shouted No! I sat there holding Friend while the battle raged. Back and forth it went, neither side giving an inch. My God, I needed help.

“Jesus? Jesus, can you help me?”

The battle stopped in an instant. Friend fell silent. Silent for the first time in many years. Jesus done answered my call. I held Friend back up to that slanted light and I saw him for what he was, the Devil. The Devil in my palm.

“Thank you Jesus.”

I wept. The tears of sorrow and the tears joy raced down my face. “Finally!” I shouted. Finally, I found a friend in Jesus.

I stood. Then Jesus and I drew back my arm and we cast out that Devil together, into that black privy hole. When it left our hand, the weight of a thousand chains just slipped away. I was free, as free as I had ever been in this lifetime. Thank you Jesus.

But I heard a curious sound. The most lonesome note you ever heard.

“Jesus?  Jesus, is that you?”

But it weren’t Jesus.

The Devil had hit the edge of the privy hole. And slowly, he began to rise. Higher and higher he went, a lazy spin over that black hole. My eyes grew wide in disbelief. My voice trembled when I called out.

“Jesus?”

Jesus didn’t answer. The Devil paused to listen and then he started downward. Lower and lower he came, until I just opened my hand and that bottle landed right back down in my palm, like he had never left.

“Hello Friend.”

I waited for one second then I raised that bottle back up, unscrewed that cap and gulped that liquor straight down.

Since that day, I ain’t never heard word one from Jesus again.

 

4 comments

  1. JAN

    This very short story laid bare the mindset of the alcoholic better than the volumes that have gone before.
    Well done, Ken

  2. Connie Lynn Cook

    Ken, in a few words you’ve captured the conflict alcoholics face. Really well done. Write On!

  3. Suzanne Burchell

    Spot on the plight of one who almost made it out of the grip of alcoholism —”but for the grace of God” — poor soul. A vivid and clear journey of the suffering addict. Well done.

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