The change was barely noticeable unless you knew them well enough to know that this was significant. It was a small change in their behaviour, a problem that had plagued them for most of their life, but now it was gone.
They wanted a miracle, like the over night delivery of a new brain, but this was actually kind of better. Small yes, significant YES.
It was always sad for me when people would come to me and project their anger on to me about God not healing them in miraculous fashion of their addiction, personality disorder, anxiety, depression etc.. Continue reading
‘If it wasn’t for sin I would be out of a job’.
This was a little quip I came up with when I was a pastor. The life of sinfulness and helping people through the mess kept me employed, gave me a living.
It does for many of us, especially those in the helping professions.
The other side of the coin was those who needed serious long term professional help yet could not access it due to its cost. I am thinking of those who needed counselling, psychotherapy etc but the fees were beyond the depth of their unemployed pockets. Continue reading
Fatigue seems to sap out any reserve you might have to go on.
I remember visiting him in the Intensive Care Unit in our local hospital. After a huge overdose of pills he had woken up to discover he was still alive. His attempt at suicide had not succeeded.
His story was not unfamiliar. He had battled his addiction for years. Day after day. Then it got the better of him, and when his whole world crashed around him he decided to crash out of it.
Beneath what our culture calls psychological disorder is a soul crying for what only community can provide. Larry Crabb
This was years ago, but just the other day he shared with me his excitement at the news of becoming a grandfather.
Wonderful I thought, it was worth all the struggle of rebuild for the joy set before him of holding a new born baby in his arms.
Fatigue hits me too. Continue reading
One of the most wonderful things you will ever witness is when someone does the hard work of change.
It maybe the challenge of overcoming the grip of an addiction. It might be the rebuilding of a life after a serious traumatic experience.
I think of those I know who have very serious mental illnesses, yet push on, do the work, and make progress in their lives that is significant for them. Continue reading
It’s OK to be angry, and seriously I think we could get more angry, about a lot of things, and it would actually help.
In fact the Bible tells us to be angry! Continue reading
I don’t think I could ever be a politician.
I look at what politicians have to put up with and know I couldn’t handle it. Adulation one day, then a knife in the back the next.
All those negative voices. People wanting to tear you down, and being ready to do anything to achieve your destruction. It’s a dog eat dog world where the dogs are always on the scrounge for that tasty morsel they can trot out and display. Continue reading
Even you need to be part of the rebuild.
There are some people who really get me fired up. They are the ones who in essence say ‘I don’t want to get my hands dirty’.
They essentially don’t want to be part of what you are doing.
As a child I was read the story of the Little Red Hen. The story describes this little hen asking all her barnyard friends to help with the various activities of growing a crop of wheat right through to the baking of the bread. Continue reading
I want to do it my way. I don’t need others help. I can rebuild my life and recover in my own strength. To admit that I need help is a sign of weakness. That I am just like them.
No, I am better than that. I will continue to hold on to that pride and resist any exposure and vulnerability to others lest I be considered weak and incapable.
Are you like this too? Continue reading
The old saying is true. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. It’s also true that you can take the water to the horse, put the water in a china cup and sprinkle rose petals over and it still won’t drink.
In my years as a pastor/ chaplain/ mental health worker the ones who made the progress and saw recovery were the ones who did the work. They didn’t sit around smoking all day, regaling the old days. They were the ones who made the effort to change. Continue reading
I love watching those ‘Mission Impossible’ shows.
The script takes you to places where you wonder how this ‘Mission Impossible’ will be resolved because if it isn’t then the whole city is going to be destroyed in a nuclear explosion.
I have met people who live in the shadow of a ‘Mission Impossible’. In fact they have given up on life being any different. The obstacles seem too big and difficult and daunting and … impossible.
People who have lived under this shadow have been there so long that this is all they know. Continue reading