What's James Frey.....got to do with it?
Unless you have been in a cave hybernating this winter, you have, no doubt, heard about James Frey's book, A Million Little Pieces. With some angst, I bought his book last Fall and sat down, for a long, life-enhancing read. As the mother of an adult child who is struggling with addiction, there is so much I do not understand. How can a mother's love be so misunderstood and rejected? What, in my child's life, went so wrong, that he threw all caution (and wise advise) to the wind, and began using? What is a mother to do as she watches a beloved child risk his/her life as he/she tumbles further into addiction?
From the first page, I knew I was in for the ride of my life. With brutal honesty, James Frey allows the reader into his world...of addiction and the struggle for sobriety. It's not a feel good read, it's not a civil read, it's not even grammatically correct. Still, A Million Little Pieces offers so much more than civility and good editing. It was an uneasy journey into the thinking of a young man who was lost in his world. It was an unsettling discovery that enabled me to better understand....something I had long been desiring to grasp: the mind of an addict.
I love my son. You love your child. We want to know them. We want to be known and loved by them. However, addiction clouds their vision, their choices, their thinking--it distorts what was once clear. Many days I look at my son and wonder, "Where did my little boy go?" "Where is his joy, his enthusiasm for life, his potential?" Can you hear the scream...."Someone, bring my little one back home!"
That, is what James Frey...has to do with it! In his book, I felt his mother's loss, his parent's pain as they, too, must have been screaming, "Come home." In A Million Little Pieces, James Frey honestly describes the ugliness of broken hearts and fractured dreams; his and his family's. I needed to know more, I wanted to hear from his parents. What did they do while they were waiting for him to come home? What didn't they do--as they allowed him to unravel and hit his rock bottom? Where did they get their strength to do the courageous work of letting go?
As I finished reading A Million Little Pieces, I was haunted by these, and so many other questions. Honestly, I felt a bond with his mother and father. Their story is our story--characters with different names and circumstances, but hearts have been damaged all the same. I felt strength in this unity, and a strange peace came over me as I began to feel compelled to find a way to connect with other parents who are hurting too as they love their prodigal home.
So you see, that's....what James Frey.....has to do with it. His story, while controversial, has meaning, has purpose, has hope for all who are in the wait for their prodigal. Sadly, I do not believe that James has discovered that our God.....has a lot to do with it! It is my hope for James, that someday, someone will share the joy of their homecoming with him, and his eyes will be opened to the million little pieces of hope we have in our Father--the one who understands the pain of waiting for a world of prodigals to come to him. He understands. Take comfort in that. As James Frey says repeatedly in A Million Little Pieces, "Hold on." However, as we hold on through the wait, I would simply add two little words....."Hold on...to God!"