Chrissy is stood with a coffee in her hand talking to me after our morning service. Her eye’s are alive. "This place has done something for me…". I look into her eyes and I really believe it has. Chrissy is on a two-week detoxification at Grieg House our local alcohol detox centre. It means we often have a group of men and women who come to church for the first time to us. There is a buzz when preconceived ideas of church are not met and the group come for the second week expectant, It’s encouraging when you really feel that something has connected. Chrissy carries on "… you know I’m coming back after re-hab" "I hope so, you are always welcome…"
I saw Carole’s eyes yesterday. It wasn’t too long ago when she too was stood talking to me after our morning service. Now her eyes were bleary, unfocused, tear filled. I walk into my mum and dad’s lounge and there she was – on day time TV. On ITV's Trisha show. The sub-title shows that Alcohol has broken her family. She’s sat with 5 huge bottles of water on her lap to demonstrate the extent of her drinking. She’s sat with the son she put up for adoption when he was four so she could afford more alcohol. She’s sat with the husband who is walking away. She is sat with her head in her hands tears rolling down her cheek.
I haven’t seen Chris’s eye’s for a while. Or Darren's Or Vince. Or Helen’s. Kay’s. Or countless other people that have wandered through our church in the past 7 years. Some you hear have linked up with local churches that help them through. Others… who knows?
Some how I’m not sure that Chrissy will be back – but I hope having been to us she will be provoked, intrigued to find a local church for her that will look into her eyes - love her, hold her hand, and be there. I hope she walks into the right church where she sees in the eyes of those around her not patronising judgement but the grace that communicates "you can do it – and even if you can’t we are here".