Without a recovery plan, addicts are a lot like Lazarus

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After snapping a few pics, I asked my wife, “Do you think Lazarus would have noticed this flower?”

Her face said, “What on Earth are you talking about now?” But what fell from her mouth was,”Huh?”

“I’m just wondering if you think Lazarus would have noticed this particular flower and the way it dances in the breeze and basks in both light and shadow?”

“Are you talking about the Lazarus that Christ raised from the dead?”

“Yeah,exactly.  Do you think he would’ve noticed these flowers and, in particular, this very one?”

“Why would he have?” she said and shook her head a bit.  She shakes her head a bit at me a lot.

“Well, I noticed these flowers and I’ve never been dead.  I can’t help but wonder if someone who was dead for 4 days would notice these flowers.  I mean, he was dead.  For 4 days.  I figure that if I was dead for any length on time, I’d notice everything a bit more, well, noticeably.”

Being raised from the dead is thought-provoking. Because of the substance abuse and addiction work I do, the idea of having life after losing it seems, well, miraculous.  Christ raised Lazarus from death’s prison, which was Christ’s last miracle before his own death and resurrection.  While demonstrating Christ’s power over physical life and death was the point of the miracle, I can’t help but wonder about Lazarus’ mood and thought-process when he emerged from his tomb.

Did Lazarus think, “How the Hell did I get here?”  Did he have a death-hangover?  Was he happy that he got to leave a tomb?  Did he think, “You mean, I’m going to have to die all over again?” Or did he think, “Now what?”

I think that last question is what most addicts who get clean wonder.  When someone gets clean after a long struggle with a substance, I know they feel things they haven’t felt in a long time and I know that their sense of time is skewed.  The truth is that unless they have a recovery plan in place, addicts relapse in part because of the uncertainty they face when they no longer have their substance to drive their behavior.  They are a lot like Lazarus leaving his tomb.

“So,” I asked my wife.  “Do you think Lazarus would have noticed these flowers more noticeably?”

She smiled, understanding my perspective.  “Yeah,” she said.  “I think Lazarus would have way noticed these flowers.”

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