Someone very close to my heart died from drug overdose at age 30.

I knew him since he was 16 years old. His parents, who spoke very little English and Filipino, would request me to go to Ian's (not his real name) school in their behalf to settle misbehavior issues with the Rector. On our third meeting within the same year, the Rector warned, “Ian would be kicked out if we caught him smoking marijuana again!” 

It didn't happen again, but Ian had progressed from grass to cough syrup to shabu to cocaine in the next few years while in college.

Again and again, I would talk to him. Again and again, he got jailed. Again and again, his parents would bail him out.

One day he was convinced to check into a very expensive rehab facility. But he escaped after a few days and his parents would check him into a new one . . . ad infinitum. I couldn't keep track of the number of rehab houses, the amount of money spent for his expensive addiction, and the slew of goods he stole in exchange for drugs as years went by.

When he was found lifeless, sprawled on the floor in his parents' home, his only sister ranted and raved, “My parents should have given up on him. Ian was born hopeless!”   

That stung me. At the cross two thousand years ago, God dispensed grace through Jesus: an open invitation for everyone to receive Hope.

But my dear Ian declined. 

As we reflect on Jesus’ suffering, death, and resurrection this Holy Week, may we accept the Hope offered to each one of us.

Nobody is ever born hopeless. Hopelessness is something we bring on to ourselves if we look the other way and decline our one and only Hope for life everlasting.
"But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” Romans 5:8 (NLT)

(This post was adapted from my book “Circle of Compassion,” published by OMF Literature in 2012.)

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