A lot of people have worked out that the fastest way to get some face-to-face time with me is to come to our Sunday service at Wayside. I have no gatekeepers on that day and so I’ll generally stay until I’ve seen everyone who has asked for a bit of time. Sunday just gone was particularly busy and I found myself saying, “If you’re prepared to wait, I’ll see you as soon as I’m free”. So many wanted a bit of time that day that I finally said to someone, “I’ve already agreed to see a string of people and it will be an hour or two before I’m free. Would you like to make an appointment for through the week?” The person replied, “It was either come here this morning or go to the gap!” She was serious! When we finally got some time together, the person’s exhaling breath was like a convulsion. It was difficult for the person to speak because of the physical demands of her violent sighs. It became clear that this was a good, able and clever person who had for some time been carrying an unbearable burden. Naturally I didn’t fix anything but what this dear person needed at that moment was someone to be with her. It was an honour to be so gloriously useless. I heard yesterday that our meeting gave the person enough strength to ask for help from appropriate places.
I have a strong hunch that addictions of all kinds are not caused by something but rather they are caused by a lack of something. For this reason it is frustrating to fight the addiction without first identifying the deficits that created the conditions in which the addiction could flourish. Addictions flourish when there is a lack; they flourish when someone latches on to a good thing and calls that one thing, the whole thing. (Both people whose stories I am about to share have given me permission to write about them). I met a young woman recently who is addicted to body building. The addiction has taken a toll on this...[read more]