Imagine a world of absolute pain. No, I mean imagine real agony; more, more. You're getting closer. Add a little more pain. Now, consider this imaginary world of yours is as a stumped toe in the night compared to the actual emotional world that you loved one is living in every minute of every day. I don't care how bad you can imagine it to be. If you have never been on the inside of addiction, you could never truly understand. Try telling a hospitalized burn victim that you “can imagine” how they feel. That healed grease-pop scar on your arm, the one that “really hurt” isn't even remotely close to what that person is going through. No, I don't have a PhD behind my name, my experience comes from the inside. I was an addict. Scratch that. I am an addict in recovery and will be for the rest of my life. When you look at your loved one, what you are seeing is not you little girl, or your little boy. That's not your sister, brother, mother or father. That's not your friend. All you can see is the outside shell. I've heard several say that is the abandoned building that used to hold that person. I'm here to tell you, that is not an abandoned building, they are still very much inside that hull. What you see is more likened to a garbage can that is holding what's left of them. I'm here to take the lid off and let you see the putrefied remains inside. When you look inside of that person, you are looking at the emotional sludge that has devastated your loved one. But unlike man-made garbage, God made your loved one the first time, and HE can re-make them again! There is no “bionic” theme music. I'm not talking about repurpose or recycle. HE can literally re-make them. The key is that they need for HIM to remake you too. You may even know their story, but you do not know their heart. If you find yourself asking, “Why?” then you could not possibly imagine the pain that it took to get them where they are. I heard a story a few years back. It spoke of two men, brothers, who grew up and chose very different paths for themselves. One became a preacher, a the other an alcoholic. When each was asked why they turned out the way that they did, they both responded, “because my dad was an alcoholic.” People react differently to trauma. Can you remember when the World Trade Towers were hit in 2001? Some people came out running, some walked, some required assistance. Some people were crying, others were in dry faced shock. They had all gone through the same experience but were reacting differently. Two parents can stand outside of a burning building. One might scream for their baby, the other might bolt inside despite the danger. There is a perfect example in the bible. Luke 15:11-32 tells us the parable of the prodigal son. A man had two sons. The younger wanted his inheritance so that he could go and experience the world. The older wanted to stay and be considered responsible. Neither choice was wrong. Many seem to forget that the inheritance was his to do with as he chose. Two men with the same background and the same inheritance chose two different paths. If you remember from the account, the prodigal son made choices that left him in despair. I heard someone say once that, “He got what he deserved.” That statement bothered me. What if he had made the same choices, but the situation worked out favorably for him? Would he have still “gotten what he deserved?” Many a liar, cheater and swindler have prospered and faltered and many a “good man” have done the same. The world that you loved one is living in is wretched and wicked, and emotionally painful. They already know it. They are living in hell on earth. Fear and pain form calluses on our soul that never heal quite right on their own. Please, stop talking about them, stop praying about them, and start praying FOR them. They want you. They need you. They are desperate despite what they tell you. If you are still asking why, stop. The clinical answer will never suffice. Don't ask, “Why aren't you eating?”. Feed them. Don't ask, “When's the last time you bathed?” Run the water and lay out a towel. Offer to carry them to a doctor, not the police. Stop screaming and start loving. If you really want to know why? Look in the mirror. You are strong and they are weak. You stopped loving them when you started judging them. When they needed you most you faced society and turned your back on them… you're so called loved one. Turn back. Please.