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The Need to be Needed

I found my buddy drunk and dazed, parked on the shoulder of a Tennessee back road. It was 2:30 in the morning. His eyes, wild with cocaine and alcohol, darted toward me, then to his ignition. As he drove off, I jumped on the hood of his car and shouted at him through the windshield.

"Mark, we love you! I just want to talk."

"Get off the car, Rob!"

"Mark, listen to me. We love you."

"Rob, don't make me hurt you!" he shouted. "Get off the car!"

"Not till you talk to me," I yelled. "Stop the car and talk to me!"

"Rob, get off the car! Get off! Get off the car!"

I didn't think he'd hurt me, but I knew he wouldn't listen. I slid off his moving vehicle and watched the taillights vanish in the night. I felt the emptiness of the darkness swallow me.


I was Mark's pastor, but he had become more than a parishioner. My wife and I had taken him into our home to help him overcome his addictions, and for months we watched him grow. He loved the Lord and devoured his Bible, memorizing key verses ...

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