I first met Daniel, 44, here at Helping Up Mission in 2012. He’s battled drugs and alcohol for 25 years.
In 1999, he had a spiritual awakening in a Florida jail. A series of unfortunate events — with a supernatural ending brought him into a personal relationship with God. But practicing it daily hasn’t been easy.
His longest clean time was his year in our 12-month residential Spiritual Recovery Program in 2013 — when he also earned his High School Diploma.
But once Daniel uses, everything changes and he arrived here again in October. He also had another pending court date in the local county where he grew up.
No stranger to their courts, Daniel told me he’s been arrested almost 100 times there! He’s not an evil guy — but chemicals cause him to do things that keep getting him arrested!
So, he arrived at court last week with HUM documentation — but no lawyer — and found he was going before “the meanest judge in the county!”
Daniel did that 11 years ago and she harangued him for 45 minutes in the courtroom — now he wants a jury trial.
But the State’s Attorney wanted to help lawyer-less Daniel and dropped numerous charges — minimizing time he’d have to serve…and took his case below the threshold for a jury trial.
The judge wasn’t in the mood to deal and Daniel was in the courtroom for hours watching person after person receive jail time. Then it was his turn.
The judge was annoyed with the State’s Attorney’s efforts and even questioned whose interests he was representing – the State or the defendant! Then the judge asked Daniel to speak and he did…about 45 minutes! She kept asking him questions and he kept telling her what he thought.
Turns out the judge is in recovery and ruled Daniel should do 90 meetings in 90 days, get a sponsor and do Step work…at HUM!
Happy Thanksgiving, Daniel!
Pastor Gary Byers