Turns out, God isn’t injectable.
I whipped off my belt as quick as humanly possible, hands careful not to overturn the precariously balanced spoon filled with a dark, muddy mixture. I do a quick glance around the parking lot , though I doubt seriously if any passerby would stop me from accomplishing my mission. Seeing the coast relatively clear, I wrap the belt around my left bicep until it hurts, then I tighten a bit more. A good tourniquet application is of top priority when most of your veins are collapsed or scarred. I knew I only had 1, maybe 2 chances to hit my mark before I would have to abandon the injection site and search frantically for a new vein. I had one spot left, in the inside of my left forearm, where the nerves had been deadened so that I could dig around with my needle with no pain. The needle was especially dull, as my clean needle lady had neglected to answer the phone that day. The vein has protruded to my satisfaction, so I make my first attempt. When you try to inject a dull needle into scar tissue enforced veins, its akin to trying to pop a half-inflated balloon with a plastic fork. The vein bends at an impossible angle, until POP. The dull surgical steel rips its way inside. I immediately pull back on the plunger of the needle to ‘register’, which is when you provide reverse suction and, If successful, blood will force its way into the syringe like creamer into coffee. Ask any IV addict, and they will tell you this is an addiction unto itself. It lets my body know what it can expect to happen in less than a second. Seeing the blood in the syringe, I push down on the plunger as fast as I can, pull out the needle, cap it, lick my thumb and press it onto the injection site firmly. I close my eyes. I wait. The feeling washes over you, from my lower back down to my feet, then back up my spine, into my sore, achy muscles, and onto the back of my eyelids. I’m where I want to be. This is what my life is for. This is the answer. This is heaven. And then, hell awakens me. I’m surrounded by figures with walkie talkies attached to them. I hear radio static. I hear murmured voices. I’m shaking violently, uncontrollably. “do you know where you are? What did you take?” one of the voices asks. “do you know your name?” do I know my name? Where am I? The picture around me becomes more visible by the minute, though the shaking continues. I’m in the road. I’m on my back. There’s a paramedic next to me. There are police officers. My car is in the middle of the road ahead of me. Traffic is being diverted. “i cant remember” is all im able to eek out to the paramedic. “why am I shaking?” I whimper. “that’s the narcan, we brought you back. Your lucky to be alive”. If I had a nickel every time I heard that…i would have spent the nickels on dope. This is what my search for an earthly heaven brought me…death. The end goal, best case scenario for a heroin addict of my type is the high that is SO good, that is SO comfortable, that you die. Free myself from this mortal coil. Because for all my heaven-chasing, I was living in hell. The car I shot up in was about to be repossessed for the numerous title loans I had out on it. I lost my job because I got caught on camera stealing tip money. My girlfriend was in rehab. My parents weren’t speaking to me. I was on probation with a 10 year suspended sentence. I was 40lbs underweight. I would get unspeakably ill 3 hours after my last dose. I had not been able to pray, talk to God, or think of anything or anyone other than myself or my desires. I longed for the end. God isn’t injectable. And thank heavens He is not. Thank heaven God is so much more than a physical feeling, a “warm and fuzzy” cure-all that I could hold in my hands, manipulate, use and abuse. God is a love so far beyond my comprehension, so removed from my selfish thinking, that I struggle to believe it. How could a being love ME when I try to kill myself on a daily basis? I don’t even LIKE myself, let alone love. So why should He? And yet, while I was overdosing, God came down to my level, and allowed himself to be tortured. While I tightened the belt around my arm, Jesus was being secured to the cross. While I was struggling to find a vein, the Romans plunged nails into God. While I stole from everyone, Jesus was executed next to thieves. When I tried my best to murder myself, God allowed himself to be murdered. The creator of the universe, sun, stars, earth and the very plant I sold my soul to, died. For me. For you. For all of us. Let that sink in. re-read it. Etch it into your very soul as your name is etched into the palms of Jesus. Why settle for an injectable god, when I can have an inconceivable love?