Goodbye Monkey Light
by Dorene Lang 10/25/2011 / Missions
A light was on in the room. Dana saw the light, but her soul was in darkness. Monkey light; it was unbelievable that she had let herself go this far. There seemed no way out of this hell that she'd dived into.
The path she had followed in the last six months astounded her. Never in this lifetime could she see herself like this, one night on a park bench and the next in a motel room with a dealer.
Her life was one long search for the pain pills that she'd somehow gotten addicted to. The pills were now payment for the Crack she desperately needed. She'd lost her way and found a hell whose fog wrapped around her; pulling her down every time she attempted escape.
She'd lost her children too. Her sweet little darlings were gone. The visits they had were less frequent, now that she'd traded one monkey for another. This monkey that she carried with her now wanted her soul. It fed on her need for the next high.
Dana wanted more than just a high. She wanted to be free from this shackle around her heart, and the people who only wanted her for her pills. She wanted to kill the very monkey that she caressed every night; to beat him down to nothing.
She dragged her bottom slowly off of the bed. There were better things to do today than sleep until the next high. There were better things to worry about than the night that stole her dignity from her. She had a mission to accomplish.
It was a long walk to the "Light of our Savior, Baptist Church" on the other side of town. The sun shone down from behind her, guiding her along the sidewalk. It was a little later in the morning than she had planned to get going. Still, she would be on time. A sound that resembled a cough escaped her throat when she heard the music. 'Next, I'll be seeing things'.
She thought of the couple who had found her on their church steps yesterday. She had been lying in a heap. He was loud and joyful with a light that shone from his eyes. She was quiet with a smile that tickled a person's heart. They invited her inside for a hot cup of "God's brew". She accepted and then she didn't know why she had. But she felt better as she warmed up with the hot cup in her hand. Her eyes felt "at home" enough to threaten to close. The couple embraced her and made her feel at home; and then they had invited her back.
"Come back tomorrow, we have a meeting here every week. We mean to give you a 'home away from home' that you can come back to." The woman "Patsy" had said. And then, "We'd love to have you in our family. Why Pastor Jerry here leads the meetings. He used to have a problem with alcohol you see, and now wishes to help others".
"Pastor Jerry" had ducked his head and whispered "Honey, it's the Lord that helps the brothers and sisters that come here. I just follow His direction."
Today they treated her really nice again. Then when she was ready to go home, Patsy sent a bag of food "To hold you over". The hug that she got from Patsy told her many things. "We love you, and want you to come back, we can help you". She didn't want to leave that hug. The warmth from the hug was a little piece of Heaven. It was not a fake pathetic hug. It was 'The real thing'. As she was walking out the door Pastor Jerry pressed a card into her hand that she stuffed unread into her right front pocket.
Now as Dana headed back from the meeting at the Light of our Savior, Baptist Church, her heart and soul were bursting with hope. Hope that this 'Jesus Christ', this God who came to die for her and others like her, could heal the drug problem. Could he throw this monkey back into the jungle where he belonged?
The sidewalk led back to the park beside the motel. In the park she could see "her" bench beside a little pond where ducks swam. Her feet went toward the bench from memory. Her mind was on other things
Dana sat for a while contemplating the meeting she had attended. She watched as the ducks played games in the water. She giggled in high spirits at their antics. She watched them until the sunshine was a memory, and the shade enveloped her. Soon the light from the street lamps began to come on, and then the fear began to rise in her.
Her fear rose as the lights grew brighter; the "Monkey Lights". These were the lights that drew drug dealers and users out to the streets, and invited addictions onto a person's back. Dana's monkey climbed back on when her dealer came around the tiny pond.
"Hi" he said, and she was lost. He led her away with a chain and a collar around her neck, as if she were the monkey.
She heard the music playing again. This reminded her that she had a savior. She reached into her right front pocket and pulled out the card that Pastor Jerry had given her. Dana stopped in the middle of the street, underneath the monkey light, to read it. On the card she read,
Light of our Savior, Baptist Church
Freedom from addiction!
Pastor Jerry presiding
Come back soon to our family
Where the Lord Jesus Christ is your hope!
Dana felt the chain drop from her neck, and the monkey climbed back down again. Her smile grew as her hope rose. There was a place where the light was true, not just a monkey light. She would soon be at the Light of our Savior, Baptist Church, surrounded by the True Light, Jesus Christ. Goodbye Monkey Light!
The term "Monkey on your back" has been used for many years to describe an addiction problem. It is well known by addicts and those who love them that the monkey is never so agreeable when asked to get down off of a host's back. It is a struggle, often a life long struggle. I have written this for those I love, to show that there is hope in the war.
To those in my family who are so hurt by addiction. There is hope and a stronger "Light", in Jesus Christ.
Dedicated to Pastor Scott Courbron who was our "Pastor Jerry"