11 August 2009

Jesus Christ Would Have Made a Difference

This is a very sad, but true, story of a family of my personal acquaintance that was non religious and afflicted with the curse of alcoholism.

We lived in a very large old house on the ridge just out of town. Someone was building a new brick house on the road back of us. My younger brother and I, along with other friends, were curious. We found a nice sand pile that tempted us to play in and to enjoy. One day the big man who was laying the bricks told us that someone was scattering his sand that he used in making the mortar and he asked us to watch out for the persons and warn them not to do it again. How wise he was. We never played in his sand again. This was my first acquaintance with Mr. Harold.

He and his family soon moved near us and they became good friends with my family. He had a very attractive wife, two handsome sons and a very pretty daughter. The oldest son became a friend with my older brother. I liked the daughter but she was older than me. I wished her and my brother would like one another. The youngest son and I became friends. We were in the same grades in elementary and junior high school. Mr. Harold’s wife died while I was a boy.

I don’t remember this family attending any religious organization. I learned also that Mr. Harold had a very bad habit of getting drunk on occasions. His youngest son and I considered joining the Boy Scouts but he did not because he said, “I don’t want anyone telling me what to do.” He had a rebellious attitude. He later married but he and his wife divorced. He was killed in a motorcycle accident. He also drank alcoholic beverages.

Mr. Harold’s daughter married a nice man but something went terribly wrong. She shot and killed him one day. Some years later she committed suicide. Their son attended the same college that our oldest son did and they became friends. But after his mother died, he committed suicide two years later.

The oldest son of Mr. Harold joined the Navy and served for years in the service. It was well known that he was addicted to alcohol. During a time of heavy drinking someone shot and killed him. I learned just recently that his son was killed by his wife. Neighbors said that they had been drinking all day and had been arguing. So even in the third generation of Mr. Harold’s family there was drunkenness and violence.

Mr. Harold later married after his first wife died. He claimed that in self defense he had to shoot and kill his step-son.

The handsome family I once knew when I was a boy is now gone. For the most part there was the absence of the Lord Jesus Christ and the presence of alcoholism and violence in this family for three generations.

If only Jesus Christ had been a part of this family, the members would have known the “peace that passes all understanding”, forgiveness of their sins and the hope of eternal life. The fruit of alcohol beverage is totally bad. It should be avoided completely. The decisions we make as parents morally and spiritually can and often does affect generations to come. It is with a sense of deep sadness in my heart that I recall these facts of friends of years past.

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