I spent some time both in consideration and prayer before adding this story as I in no way want to glorify sin or my bad choices, nor would I want to in any way influence anyone that what I did was anything but wrong and stupid. After much reflection I do believe this story has merit in the illustration of Job’s cry to God in Job 7:12. I believe that even here in the mist of my lawlessness and sin God had set a watch over me both in creating boundaries as a sea, and in this case, vomiting me up as with Jonah’s whale.
Late into my teen years my parents had moved away from Albuquerque to Kansas City. My sister and I stayed behind each to our own apartments across town from each other. One of the guys I hung out with worked at the trailer park there on the Mesa doing maintenance work and one day while clearing weeds from one of the trailer lots he came across a weed of the Cannabis variety. This plant was a very large specimen that was nearly seven feet tall and about as wide. Seeing the value of this particular weed he chopped it down and hid it where he would come back after work and recover it. He then brought it home and called several of us over to come and take a look.
Although I had little to no experience in such matters it was thrilling to be included in the gang and trusted with such highly confidential information. I listened intently as they all discussed what a fine plant it was and how they needed to carefully hang it and cure it for consumption. Plans were made for a giant party when the plant had reached it full potential. Somehow they knew just the right leaves to use to make brownies and other leaves and seeds for rolling; other parts were to be used to make tea. It sounded like all the trimmings of an amazing new adventure and with my new freedom I thought this was going to be cool. “Not”
Finally the big day came, it was a Saturday and I would be off all day. The party started that morning with tea and brownies graduating to the special cigarettes rolled with eight rolling papers to make a giant joint affectionately called a “Naggie Special” after its skilled roller. So I joined in the activities all day and as the night time fell I have no earthly idea how much I had smoked or ate or drank, but one thing was for sure it was way too much.
I lived just down the street and a couple of my friends and I decided we had all we could possibly want and we went back to my apartment. Sitting in the living room we were all talking how cool it was and I felt that somehow I had left my body and was now attached to the ceiling. No sooner did I tell my friends that and one of them said, “Man, Dilmore you are going to be sick.”
The thought had never crossed my mind, I even replied, “There is no way you can’t get sick off of pot.” Moments later I realized the folly of that. The room immediately began to spin violently and my out of body experience quickly turned to an out of stomach experience. I’ll never know how I made it to the bathroom but after ordering many a Buick from the great white telephone, I became terrified that I would soon be throwing up blood so when I discover that by closing my eyes the room would stop spinning I vowed to keep those babies closed at all costs.
Not willing to move or open my eyes my friends soon came in and told me they had enough of this excitement and were leaving. So all alone I supposed I would somehow ride out this self inflicted toilet torture eyed closed, and paranoid. After a time of this bizarre meditation the unthinkable happened, the toilet flushed.
WHAT? I am supposed to be all alone, who could be standing here? My mind raced, “oh no, my parents were supposed to be here Sunday from Kansas City, did they arrive early?” Or perhaps it was the police, or my friends had come back. Did they leave the door open and it was a total stranger or some sort of, “Jack the Ripper” standing over me with a knife? Sheepishly I asked, “who’s therrre?” Nothing, dead silence. Sheer terror raged every moment that the answer didn’t come. “Please, please who is there you are really scaring me?” Nothing but dead silence, then after a few minutes that seemed hours as if to spite me the unthinkable happened again; once again the toilet flushed.
WHY DIDN’T they answer, what evil or punishment was I to face. I am no expert by any means on pot smoking but I will tell you that for me the heightened paranoia was terrifying and this silence was truly driving me insane. Not knowing what else to do I cried out to a God I had previously sworn didn’t exist, “I promise if I get out of this alive, I will never ever do marijuana again in any form, not no way, not no how.” Still the silence, eyes clenched in utter terror. Minutes went by like days as I balanced dying from opening my eyes or from the hands of the “Bathroom Butcher”.
After the forth flush I could take it no longer, death by the depths of the china bowl had to be better than by the “Bathroom Butcher”. As I slowly opened my eyes hoping to escape the ensuing throat-missiles, I observed that my head was resting on the toilet handle, so when I bobbed just a little the toilet would respond per its function with no concern for my sanity.
Perplexed and delirious I lunged for the bedroom to sleep off perditions party poison. Somehow I managed to greet my parents about lunch time the next day as if nothing had happened. Yet much had changed, although I once would have thought I was better before the incident the truth is that I was headed the wrong way like Jonah and needed to learn the hard way. I sought life by heading away from God; the gang the intrigue drew me near to destruction.
Thrown into the sea like Jonah I was swallowed by a drug induced paranoia and after I found myself “with the depths closed me round about, the weeds around my head down to the bottoms of the mountains, the earth with her bars was about me for ever yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O Lord my God. They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy. But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the Lord. And the Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.” Jonah 2
Yes, I kept my vow and never did that again. It was grace, pure unmerited favor that God would place such a watch over me, this chance I had to see my folly in its early stages. The chances Jesus gave me, the grace He poured out on me I believe He continues to pour out, not just on my sin, but on my children’s, my friend’s family for generations to come. A hope I cling to, as He has done for me; the heavenly Father’s love, the immeasurable grace of Jesus, and the comfort of Holy Spirit, they pour out on those They love.