A special essay from D. Anne Jones.
I lost my 37-year-old daughter to addiction in 2019.
She was a brilliant, beautiful, funny, and loving child.
She worked hard and obtained her degree in nursing. She wanted to provide a good life for her daughter.
Somewhere along the line, she wandered off the path, and began using drugs, and became addicted.
When she died, a few people came to me and reminded me that the Good Shepherd will leave the 99 sheep and go after the one lost sheep of the herd.
I couldn’t quit thinking about my daughter being one of God’s sheep, and even though she was not active in her faith as an adult, she was raised in the Catholic Church and attended Catholic schools for several years.
She received the sacraments and was confirmed in the 8th grade.
She did tell me she believed in God, shortly before she died, but was not “religious” like me.
She was given the last rites before her death but was not conscious.
I kept ruminating on the fact that she was a sheep that wandered into the brambles of drug addiction and became stuck.
No one intends to become an addict.
No sheep intends to get caught in a briar bush, either, but it happens.
I have read a lot about sheep recently, and some shepherds even refer to brambles as “carnivorous:, because sheep will sometimes try to wrestle their way out, resulting in the brambles tightening on them, pulling them further into the bush, and eventually strangling them.
Sometimes sheep will not even try to get free and just stand there and die, or hopefully, their shepherd comes in search of them and cuts them free.
Addiction reminds me of these brambles.
The sheep wanders off, and ends up caught in the thorns – and sometimes they choke the life out of the sheep – or addict.
It is never too late to call out for the Shepherd’s help and mercy.
I believe He came and rescued my daughter from the evil lifestyle of addiction.
I look forward to seeing her again with our Father in heaven and rejoicing over His finding this one lost sheep.
“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven. What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way, your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.” Matthew 18:10-14.
“Suppose one of you has one hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” Luke 15:3-7.
D. Anne Jones 6/16/2021