Friday, May 14, 2004

The beauty of Tommy...

I’ve just read Jen Lemens post weekend report

She paints a picture. With broad strokes of ambience the beauty of the day she shares lifts my spirit and as I walk along to the doctor’s surgery to pick up a prescription I mull over her words. I resolve likewise to look for beauty...

The automatic doors usher me in. As I approach the reception I see Tommy. A focal point for the room like some old Victorian fireplace. People sit around him. Not for his warmth or character. Everyone is aware of this alcoholic, all are wary, cautious, suspicious. Implicit eye’s lead to Tommy.

He is a mess. He sits there like a parody of a mustard gas victim from The Somme. A huge unkempt dressing covers the left of his face. His arms and hands show ill-formed scabs. Angry scars to add to his collection. I wonder about the deeper wounds as children are kept from him; people willing to stand rather than sit within two chairs of him; constant apprehensive stares.

As I wait for the receptionist I break the silence of the waiting room "heh Tommy what’s going on…?", "some f**king b**tard scolded me with boiling fat, now it’s infected..." Recoil from the audience encourages him as he shows me his latest wounds and scars of a life so remote to us all.

There’s beauty there somewhere. Tommy with knife multiple stab wounds about his body. Tommy the alcoholic rogue. Tommy who was capable of setting fire to his long-term partner having soaked her with lighter fluid. Tommy just out of consequent prison. There must be beauty.

As I leave I say good-bye to Tommy. The crowd looks on incredulously. "Tommy, I hope it works out..." There in his eyes I saw beauty.

The beauty of feeling valued and included.


Anonymous said...

wow. God helped you to look for some beauty in Tommy. I've seen ppl like Tommy here. We were at open air in the park a couple of summers ago and a guy like Tommy was there. all i could think was 'this man was somebody's baby', i wondered about his life's journey. i know where he ended up, but didn't know how he got there. he wouldn't talk to us. he needed hospitalization, he was very ill. . .a few of us stayed with him until the police came to take him there, i'm not sure if our officer talked to him about Jesus, i hope so; i had to go, to help load up all our worship band's equipment and head back to the hall. . I did find out that he died a short time later. there are so many "Tommys" out there - half of them don't look any different than ourselves, those are the tricky ones to spot, all their damage is inside. we have our work cut out for us. Kathy

Gordon said...

"...a few of us stayed"

I suspect he experienced Jesus through your motives - not many people in society would have stayed.