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“We don’t throw people away”: When the heroin addict met the Uber driver…

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Elizabeth Scalia - published on 04/26/17

Contrary to what some may think, the opioid epidemic is not restricted to the Midwest — the whole country is beginning to come to grips with the chilling reality of addiction and hopelessness affecting both the poor and the wealthy, alike.

Amid all of the chilling stories, it helps to read a moving tale of redemption, and how the simple kindness of an Uber driver who was himself down on his luck, helped one addict find his sobriety:

Randy stepped out of his car, moving to the hatchback, ostensibly to stow his rider’s luggage. But right then, Randy wasn’t sure this ride was going to happen at all. The closer the rider approached, the less certain he became. His fare’s clothes were unkempt, as if slept in, and badly in need of a wash. There was a nervous twitchiness to his demeanor. But as his prospective rider neared, Randy noticed something else. Beyond everything, he was just a kid. In fact, he was around the same age as Randy’s own 24-year-old son, Nathan. Only the kid now standing before him, was clearly in trouble. Big trouble. The life-and-death kind. Randy still had plenty of reservations. But he wouldn’t – couldn’t – turn this rider away. He took the bag, placed it in the back of the car, then opened the rear door for his rider. Back behind the wheel, Randy eyed his passenger in the rearview mirror. The kid didn’t just look bad. He was sick. Sick in that special way Randy had only heard about from newspaper headlines and cable news reports. Only now, it was right here. In his backseat. Randy was face-to-face with America’s heroin epidemic.

What happened over the next few hours can help restore your faith humanity, and remind us all of the power and healing that can come from small acts of kindness — from the realization that “there but for the grace of God,” this Suffering Other could just as easily be your own child — and a willingness to co-operate with that grace, sometimes minute-by-minute.

Read the whole inspiring story, and maybe find a small way to pay some grace forward, yourself.

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