Tim: The surrender

The intervention wasn’t enough to cause change or even the desire for change but somewhere in Tim the memory of it was germinating.

Mum died in 1990 (although technically, because she had swapped her mortal life out for the immortal one of Jesus Christ, she never died, she just changed her address). Six years later Tim was still living in Little Tokyo between noodle shops, in a hotel so slim it was easy to walk past it without realizing it. It had “1/2” in the address.

Well, he wasn’t exactly living. He was dying. When he finally called and asked for help because he couldn’t pay the rent anymore and was being evicted, I found the door to his room unlocked. He was too weak to get up and let me in. He was just lying on his bed emaciated. He was dying of what most alcoholics die of, malnutrition.

He was finally ready to go into rehab. He wanted to be taken to Veterans Hospital. He had remembered he was eligible for it.

So I walked him out the door and down the stairs, helped him into my car and drove to Veterans Hospital. We parked in the parking structure and I walked him into the lobby. He didn’t say a word, just sank onto a couch as I told the lady at the desk, “Tim Reynolds wants to be admitted to rehab.”

She checked the computer. “He’s not listed.”


“He isn’t listed as a veteran. He isn’t in our system.”

“But he was in the Army. He must be there.  Tim, what’s your ID number?” Tim stirred as he mumbled it. She checked again. Nothing.

I got angry. He was about to be homeless. He was dying. And he was ready to get help. He was willing. They had to take him. I threw a tantrum, getting louder and redder and more upset, going up the ranks to get someone to listen and make Tim’s name appear in the computer.


It was five o’clock. The office was closing. In tears of frustration and rage, I led Tim back to the car and let him in. Then I got into the driver’s seat and starting yelling at God. “This isn’t fair! This isn’t right! You’ve got to let him in!” Tim just slumped in the seat beside me, totally passive.

At some point I redirected my anger. “Satan,” I sobbed, pounding on the steering wheel, “You can’t have him! YOU–CAN’T–HAVE–HIM! In Jesus’ name I FORBID it! He belongs to the Most High God, because God created him and because God’s son died for him and bought him with His own blood. You have no right or authority to him! I command you to release him, in the name of Jesus of Nazareth. I take him out of your jaws and out from under your claws! LET HIM GO!”

It was the first time I had ever resorted to what I would later find out was spiritual warfare. Tim just sat there.

Then, beaten, I drove him back to the hotel. I left him lying on his bed again but I promised to come back first thing in the morning and try again.

This time I wore my red “power suit” and I had blood in my eye. I was not going to take no for an answer.

Tim and I walked into the Veterans Hospital lobby and confronted the receptionist. “Tim Reynolds,” I said firmly.

She pecked a couple of keys on her computer and said, “He’ll have to fill out these forms.”

“You mean–he’s in there? He’s listed?” I swallowed my surprise before the words could come out.

Tim was admitted to rehab that day. I picked him up there three days later. And he hasn’t had a drink since.


About Jessica Renshaw

This entry was posted in alcoholism, Alzheimer's, Jesus Christ, My brother Tim and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Tim: The surrender

  1. Wow. I am dreadfully behind on reading your blog because for some reason, the settings were not e mailing me the posts. I had to reset not only yours, but several others. This morning is catch up time for your blog.

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