Wow, way for me to keep you hanging...
I am still processing what took place as I visited that young man in the jail; it was not pleasant. It was about a 5 minute walk down a windowless hallway to where he was being held. When I walked into the visitation area, I saw him sitting on the other side of the thick glass. At first, he didn't know who I was, even though I had just seen him a few days prior at church.
When I asked him how he was doing he replied, "Hey, I got 3 squares a day." It turns he had just been kicked out of the place he was staying, probably on a couch, and didn't know what to do. He told me that he threw a rock at the bank's door and announced he was going to rob the bank so that he would get arrested and therefore, have a place to stay.
After we talked a bit more, I asked if I could pray with him and he consented.
Then, the conversation took a strange turn...
Him: "Well, I know you're just here because it's your job, but thanks for coming anyway."
Me: "No, I'm here because the congregation and I are concerned about you. We've been glad that you've been worshipping with us. I'm sorry we didn't know you were struggling."
Him: "Well, your visits won't get me a job, won't put a roof over my head. So, no thanks."
Me: who knows what I said here...I can't remember...probably something entirely unhelpful...
Him: "I don't want a relationship with you. Don't call me; I'll call you. Hey, it feels good to say that to someone else for a change."
I haven't been back. I'm not sure if that is the right thing or not. It's possible that if I went back, he wouldn't even remember that I had been there. I'm not a psychiatrist, but it is clear that he has some significant mental health issues. (Duh.)
The fact remains that he sought us out for several weeks and I didn't follow up with him. True, he never left any contact info, but I didn't try very hard because he made me uncomfortable. That's the truth.
So, like I said, I'm still processing this and taking it into my prayer.
I am going to maintain my blog, for now. Since I began my new call at the beginning of the year, I have had less and less time and inclination to blog. However, I miss my blogging buddies and will try to do a better job of keeping up with you all. I am Facebook friends with many of you, which I enjoy so much.
Happy new year, my friends!