Dillon was adopted as an infant into a Christian family. His adoptive parents were honest, hard-working people who used their religion as a guide for life. Dillon got a lot of exposure to that religion.
Dillon was a regular church-goer in his youth. But like many youth, Dillon experimented on the wide side of life. When he was 18, he got his girlfriend pregnant. They married and brought three children into the world. He also brought his new wife into his church community.
It was not a good marriage. Dillon continued with his wild ways. Alcohol and marijuana binges were Dillon’s recreation. He also had one-night stands with girls who accepted his amorous ways.
Dillon became a heavy-equipment operator; he had feather touch for hydraulics. But he never became all that ambitious with his talents with machinery. There were frequent periods of unemployment and bill collectors and not much food on the table. Eventually his wife left him. Dillon didn’t have much contact with his kids after that. Nor did he provide any support payments. But he still went to church, saying the prayers and singing the hymns.
Dillon quickly remarried after his divorce. He brought two more children into the world. But Dillon brought the same problems into this second marriage: adultery and addictions and scattered employment. This time he left the marriage. Again, there was neither much contact with the kids nor support payments. But Dillon still went to church on a regular basis.
Dillon never married again. But he continuously had a string of live-in girlfriends. Five years was the most he ever got in a relationship. He must have had a vasectomy for no more children came from Dillon’s loins. But come most Sunday mornings, Dillon was in church.
As cocaine became cheaper and more popular, Dillon added this narcotic to his binges. It seemed whenever his heavy-equipment operator work found him some extra money in the bank, he would go on a binge of some kind. When he was sober, he still attended church.
Finding work became more difficult for Dillon. His reputation as an operator who quits without notice caught up with him. Plus the equipment was becoming more computerized and required more paper-work. Dillon just couldn’t learn these new skills.
Today he lives on social assistance. He “borrows” from his elderly parents. He uses his charm to mooch off of girlfriends. Despite two wives, five children, several girlfriends, many lovers, and many drinking and drugging buddies, Dillon is a lonely person.
He still is a regular church goer at the Christian denomination of his childhood. But most of his fellow church goers don’t know much about him. If they did, they would be quick to judge him as a hypocrite. His shortcomings, his poor choices, and his inability to fix his life astound us. We can easily see how the lessons from the pulpit should have had a more positive effect on Dillon’s life.
Dillon has fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS). People afflicted with this condition cannot reason out the consequences of their actions. They tend to thrive on instant gratification; long term plans do not exist in their minds. Dillon never asked for his FAS—nor is it curable. So maybe we should be thankful that all those years of going to church just might have kept Dillon away from prison.
Dillon must be getting something else from church. Maybe church is the only place—in his dysfunctional life—where he can find his Creator and His unconditional love.