Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Long Overdue Update and Goodbye, 2009

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!


Rev Kim said...

This is such a powerful post. I think we all have the people who make us uncomfortable.

Thanks for your comment on my blog! Of course, you may use whatever you want, crediting me or not. We baptized the little boy last Sunday. I quoted what the mom said in my sermon, and I couldn't get through it without choking up.

I'm on facebook too, so maybe we can friend each other.

Terri said...

wow..I give you credit for going to visit him. But his brokeness is going to make him defensive and push folks away...I mean really sad that a person threatens a crime in order to have a place to sleep and eat...anyway. you might want to dialogue with RevDrKate who has done some work with a young man who is in and out of jail and has also come to her church off and on...

Blessings for the new year.

Anonymous said...

Hoping the call process moves along smoothly... and that you are called to the right place. I get not wanting to blog... cause there are some days... that you just don't think you can write what's going on in your life. We've been missing you!

revhipchick said...

that is some powerful stuff.

i've found it hard to blog this past year too. i miss reading everyone.

i'm glad you're still here and still going to blog.

blessings for 2010

revkjarla said...

Wow. Interesting--you never know about ministry, do you? Love having you back!

Mary Beth said...

so glad to read you again. I'm sorry about this situation...have been wondering about him.


Seems to me there was some powerful grace in your going there and bearing witness to his pain and frustration. Was he ugly to you? yes. Was it about YOU? or even your church? no.

hugging you!