Building community with those you want to is easy. What about with the non-designer people that society doesn't want? Patrick remains a prophetic challenge to us without him even knowing it...! This happened last week.
Sometimes our church in the week gets a bit intense. Lots going on. Lots of noise. Lots of demands. Sometimes it is good to get out on a mindless mission, be by yourself – away from the maddening crowd. Tuesday was my day. My mission to pick up some display panels from south of the river. A journey that would see me gone for a good two hours.
There's a bit of nagging going on in my mind ..."take Patrick…you know he loves a trip in the wagon…he loves getting out of Poplar…you know it would do him good". The counter argument kicks in "get going before Patrick sees you…you need the time to yourself…hardly a crime to enjoy your own company".
My decision made – I’m in the mini-bus reversing out of our car park. Then I see him "keep going….don’t look…he hasn’t seen you". I finish the manoeuvre. I’m ready to go and all the time I have managed to ignore the looks of Patrick. But now he is at the passenger window looking. He’s looking at me. Big, sad, Labrador puppy eye’s. I wind down the window – in a oh Patrick I didn't see you kind of way "want some company?" he asks. "Noooooooo” my hard-heart pleads. I look again into those eyes. "Oh Come on then" resigned to the fact that our conversation is going to be so off the wall for the next two hours.
We get to the first bend and we are already talking politics. Patrick starts a rant "I'm not voting for Blair again…". "no?" I reply – "do you think that Iraq and WMD was a step too far? Perhaps fees for students?" Patrick looks me in the eye as if I’m mad then deliberately and menacingly he growls "until he does something for the mice – I’ll not vote for him".
Two hours later we return and I’ve agreed not to vote for Blair either – unless of course he does something for the mice!
But d’you know what I’m glad I took Patrick!