Tag Archives: Christianity

When is enough?

How many times must I forgive my brother, Lord?   So says Peter in  a question to Jesus Howmanytimes, Peter postulates a good number up to seven times my Lord? Jesus replies not up to seven times, Peter is probably thinking phew that is not so hard then when Jesus hits him with the knockout,

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Opinions Can Be Like Farts

I don’t mean this to be offensive, but. Words that often accompany a probe, no not an alien impregnating you or stealing your information, Continue reading

Not another bloody God botherer!

Staggering,stumbling and swaying, I saw the figure in the distance, drunk…. perhaps, as I get closer I see a familiar figure,pastel blue high waisted track pants, pink turtle necked skivvy that is tucked into her pants, Continue reading

A Prayer for Victor, cold charity?

Hunched down, out of the wind I saw him, rearranging his bags to make room, the bitter, biting, wind kept at arms-length for just a bit, not for long now though as he would have to make a move soon.  I know him by name and just a little of his story, I just drove on, just another day.  It had been a frustrating day for me and I was grumbling inwardly about life till I saw Victor.

Perched out of the wind by a local liquor store, Victor was taking his purchases out of their packing and distributing them into his bags, Victor is dependent on alcohol, he was preparing to start walking, I am not sure where to, there’s no night shelter in Morrinsville, and Victor told me he is sleeping rough at the moment.  At that time and place my worries and frustrations were put into perspective. I know all the rhetoric, about choice and consequences, and at times have probably chanted it, I hope not too loudly.

I have met many Victors over the years, I have tried to help some, had some live with me, counselled some, cried with some and for some, even seen death take some.  Addiction is a terrible thing, I am so glad that I have never been in that place.  I had an internal conversation with myself about Victor, I wondered where he was going to sleep, was he hungry, would he stay warm and I drove on.  I have given money to him before, dumb I know because I am pretty confident about what happened to that money.

Victor looks like an everyday guy, Just a bit rough around the edges but with the telltale blood vessels bright red in his face, he could be a dad, husband, grand dad, I don’t know, not that I don’t care but I am too busy.  There I said it, just too busy.

It is not that I don’t care, or I couldn’t help, there is always enough to give someone a meal I just know.  Victor has people who care about him and are trying to assist him.  I know some of them, they will be encouraging him, they will be giving him some food, and a listening ear, There is some help available but Victor has to want it.  It is unlikely that he will change in the near future, I think he battles with some mental illness as well, but in my experience most people in addiction don’t change until the pain of living in that life becomes more than the pain of change,

I saw Victor again yesterday, huddled out of the wind, waiting for, well just waiting, I think for someone he knows, and he was probably going to ask for something, food or…. I said a quick hello but avoided his eyes as I hopped into my warm car and went home to my warm house and got ready for my warm food.  If I had stopped and said hello I would have been compelled to help him, I just can’t say no but like Victor I was also driven by fear.  I think that it is the fear of change that keeps him in his addiction, and for me it is the fear of consequence that stopped me saying hello, I know I would have had to do something and I just don’t want to be in that place.

I can justify it anyway I want, I am a sole parent, I am busy, I don’t have much money, I help a lot of other people, it won’t make a blind bit of difference difference anyway, nothing will change, all true, however at some level do I have a responsibility, I pay tax the Govt can help him, is that enough? Oh the church can help him is that enough? It is his choice, is that enough?  In the end I turned my back after I said hi, I drove away back into my life, I said a quick prayer, is that enough? Well I know the answer to those questions but I will not utter it, I know that I am just one person, I wish I was more than that at times, but I also prayed that he didn’t freeze to death somewhere, pathetic really but that’s all I had in me.  I guess it makes me human, certainly makes me think.

Peace and love people,

Paul

RIP Uncle Nelson

This morning we got the news, my Uncle Nelson had passed away, it was expected, he had a battle with cancer, I am not sure of the details as time,distance and life has meant that I have not seen much of Nelson and his wife Mary.  Aunty Mary is one of my mums sisters, one of 14 so over the tears we have had our share of death over the years, and no doubt we shall see some more.  As I was reflecting on Nelson’s life today there was one outstanding memory I have.  I must have been 11 as Nelson and Mary didn’t have children at the time.  My mum informed me I was going camping with them.  An unusual occurrence for me and a real treat.  I can remember a few details vividly.  We stayed just out of Thames in an old school tent, I can’t recall the car they had at the time,a Holden or Vauxhall seems to come to mind.  I remember the cotton sleeping bags, the crowded camp ground and pipis (a shell fish) cooking in a pot.  I think Nelson was a keen fisherman.

I would see Nelson and Mary at family celebrations (and funerals) family orientated and from what I see they were good parents, two fine children.  I know that we often tend to lionise the dead and I am sure that Nelson had his challenges as well as his strengths but I can only talk about what I saw. What I saw was a man with a ready smile, he was always kind and interested in my life when we caught up.  He was a pretty ordinary kind of a guy, no airs and graces that I ever saw, these things are not unusual in the people I know.  The one thing that impressed me above all else was the very simple strong faith that he shared with his wife.

We talked about it at one family gathering and he said that he knew he wasn’t perfect, he had his problems but he was in his words forgiven and lived in the grace of God.  Now I don’t know what your spiritual beliefs are, and in reality it matters little, what I saw with Nelson was genuine, no pretence about who he was or wasn’t, just a simple message about the love of God.  I admired him for it, particularly his honesty about who he was.  Others no doubt will have many stories to tell about Nelson, I just wanted to acknowledge the input and impact he made on my life, one of many who have done so but I am grateful for it.  The fishing trip was important to me as was the last in depth conversation I had with him.  I hope to be there for the celebration of his life.

To Aunty Mary, Daniel, Leslie and family much love in your time of loss, even when you are prepared for it, loss hits hard. To Nelson, rest well, I will remember you.
Now I have an update, Got my ears boxed by Aunty Mary ( figuratively) I didn’t call her Aunty Mary all through the blog post, well writing conventions and voice apart, no disrespect meant, arohamai, Arohanui ki te Whanau. Na naku noa

Paul

A Bed and a Dresser

“No problems shifting these days” he quipped, “all I have is a single bed and a set of drawers”, I don’t know what I am going to do, my daughters don’t want me. Continue reading

Fried Rice for Dinner

I bought dinner tonight, chicken fried rice to be precise.  It is a rare occasion in my house, my children are all away for the weekend, no one to cook for, it would have been nice for me to get away as well but it just didn’t work out that way. Continue reading