Question & a Story

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Once, not too long ago there was an addict.  He had used his drugs and abused his family and friends for years.  He stole from them and lied to them, he betrayed and used them.  He had burned every bridge. A few days ago the addict found himself all alone in the bitter darkness of downtown.  He had no drugs, no friends or/family, no food not even a blanket.

As the thick cover of night washed over the street, the addict began to shiver with fear and shame and bone-chilling cold.  His arms wrapped tighter around his torso but the thin sweatshirt did little to warm him.  The lost people of night began to wander the street and he suddenly felt lonely and strange. With nothing and nowhere to go the addict reached out, dialing his Dad's phone number.

"Dad, I know I don't deserve anything from you but could you please bring me a blanket.  I'm so cold."

The Dad pulled an old quilt from the closet, picked up his older son and drove the few blocks to where the addict had hunkered down for the bitter night.  When the Dad and the older son saw the addict they both wept. Grieving for the son and brother they once knew.  The son and brother they loved.

The older son said, "Brother, I will get you a hotel for the night."

And so, they drove to the nearest hotel and purchased a room.  The addict grateful for their kindness promised he would go to rehab the next day.  He gave tear-filled sorry's and promised to get clean and change.  He begged for their belief in him, so terribly aware of the acute pain in his own heart.

"In the morning I will check myself into rehab, I promise."

A few days later the Dad and older son saw the addict.  When they asked him why he wasn't in rehab the addict replied,

"Oh, yeah.  Those guys?   No, they're losers.  I'm not like them. I'm doing better now anyway."

Question:  What do you think?  How do you think the Dad and older son feel?