Dear Inner Circle,
Not satisfied with the normal life-rhythm of love; its move from potential to actual to potential again; its move from intimacy to longing and back - a young woman told me just now about how she is strangling the bloke she loves. She wants to possess him. She wants him to be on call all the time. She wants him to be more predictable than a machine. She wants assurance, that he can’t give. No amount of control can change the nature of love; it is born and it dies and is born again. For this young woman however, the natural end of a loving event, threatens the end of love itself. I saw a learner driver the other day make a right turn and mount the footpath, knocking down a small tree. As I passed by, the driver was still so frozen to the steering wheel that I could see how she wasn’t in a good place to be moving and adapting and coping with all the shifts required in a task like driving. The young woman I just spoke about is in a similar spot. Stiffness and anxiety will not get her around the corner. Even if the woman could turn her partner into an object that could be controlled, the object wouldn’t be the man she loves but a shadow; a thing.
As I walked in this morning a short man, perhaps in his fifties rushed over and put his arms around me. I like this man. I could take him home. He told me that he’s sleeping rough again. Our team over the past year have done a brilliant job for this fellow finding accommodation but a couple of times, after achieving the impossible for him, the placement has broken down and he finds himself on the street again. I love this bloke. “It’s my anger” he said. I only know him as a sweet man but others have told me that he can fly into a rage. I had to leave him because I was due in a meeting but my heart is heavy for him and I’m keen to see him...[read more]
Dear Inner Circle,
Exactly one year ago I told you of a young woman who walked into Wayside and asked to see me. Her head was covered by a veil and she couldn’t look me in the face. Her speech was difficult because her whole body was shaking. She told me that she was in trouble. A lot of trouble! In order to escape a situation of unspeakable domestic violence, she had set fire to a home while her husband was asleep. The end result was serious damage to property, serious burns to a large percentage of her own body and an uninjured but insanely angry husband. Her world had crumbled to the extent that this drastic action seemed like more or less her only option. She would have been content to lose her life in the fire. She walked into Wayside on the day she was released from hospital; she had no plan and no where to go. I remember holding her in my arms as I said an ancient prayer and wondered if she would ever see better days.
This same woman walked into Wayside last night to show herself to me. I was struck dumb by this beautiful, vivacious, outgoing woman and I really struggled to believe it was the same woman that I met one year ago. She didn’t have to say a word for me to recognise a rare miracle before me. All evidence of burns on her face are gone and instead her eyes literally dance with life and speak without need of words. She is employed full time and she has a secure place to live. She visited yesterday only to show me how far she had come. She told me that the prayer I said a year ago was her turning point and she quoted it back to me. I get quite used to seeing people in the worst moment of their lives and it was a rare and beautiful moment for me to talk to this young woman and rejoice in a life recovered and discovered. Read on here