Common scenario in my home when the four grandchildren are over. One of them takes a toy from the other and in running away, falls. Both are crying but the one whose toy was taken calls out, “That’s what you get!”
Surprisingly (or maybe not), it’s a common sentiment among adults. If you do something wrong and suffer consequences, then you deserve it. As if the consequences in themselves aren’t enough, we have others there to remind us of the way in which we contributed. I can hear the high-pitched sound even now, “That’s what you getttttt!”
Recently, I’ve found myself getting caught up in news pieces on social media regarding drug addiction and overdoses. The comments make it clear that anyone who dies from a drug addiction deserves it.
Just don’t take the drugs and you won’t have to worry about an overdose. Honestly, I wish it were that easy. And I pray that no family will have to go through the pure hell of watching a loved one spiral down this messy, life-sucking, monster.
Just over a year ago we buried a relative who struggled with drug addiction. Last month we buried another relative who yes, struggled with the same addiction but was also clearly overmedicated. Seven different prescriptions from ONE doctor, and an additional four from another.
We are still waiting for toxicology results. And what has made this harder to grasp is that our loved one had finally started overcoming the addiction. He was doing so well. But he was also taking medications that slow down your heart, along with him having a weight problem and sleep apnea. So, the jury’s still out on what was the actual cause of his death.
I make no excuses for either relative who struggled. However, I do give leeway to my nephew, who was introduced to drugs by his very own father…while he was in high school. Young. Impressionable. Devoted to his dad (not having the realization of his toxicity).
Sadly, he’s now gone. And our family remains at the edge of our seat, hoping and praying for his brother to not be the next one. Watching someone almost literally die before your eyes is draining. Ugly. Hurtful. Frustrating.
It doesn’t have to be drug addiction. There can be other ways that we think (if we don’t say out loud), “That’s what you get.”
Sometimes I feel like compassion is missing—even in Christian circles. Judging the situation and determining that all consequences are deserved. Neglecting to recognize the pain and devastation that others suffer in these terrible circumstances.
My family has been absolutely shattered. While we yet grieve this tremendous loss, we pray fervently for there not to be another casualty.
I fully recognize and accept that consequences are part of choices in life. Whether it’s the young woman who chose to abort her baby. The man who strayed from his marriage, or the teenager who injected himself with heroin. But let our compassion become greater than our judgment.