You need to know Maureen...
(I try to understand.... ; Sometimes all you can do... ; Maureen...Professional pastoral pre-occupation!!)
I’m looking at the phone. Shall I call her?
For goodness sake this 60 year old woman has got me running round after her like no one else. I’m pretty miffed. Out of everyone she gets the most attention form Kate and I. Picking her up for church events taking her home. Taking her to see her husband Sid who suffers from Schizophrenia. Bringing her home. Not all the time but she gets the lions share of our time.
Now she is busy knifing us in the back for not picking her up. Not caring. Being selfish. Not understanding. Not considerate.
Funny how she forgets it was us who in the middle of the night dropped everything to be with Maureen while Sid tore their flat to bits in a haze of mental anguish. It was us who fought with the health authorities to take Maureen’s concern of Sid seriously. It was us who went onto the secure mental health ward and help feed and dress Sid. It was us who stood by her when the hospital lost patience with Maureen’s insistence that she couldn’t cope. It was with us that she spent Christmas when Sid was at his worse.
You know what I am mad. I can cope with many things. I can cope with being told I’m not up to it. I can cope with being told I am rubbish. I can cope with being told that others could do better. I can cope with being abused by drug addicts looking for their next fix. I can cope with alcoholics wanting to knock me into next week because of a lack of my compliance. But I can not cope with being taken for granted; I can not cope when people take liberties with me it gets me mad. And I don’t know why. (perhaps there is truth in the altruism observation)
I look at the phone and I am mad.
I don’t ring. I wait. Later that evening I speak with Maureen. I’m not mad. She tells me how Sid is worsening and she is worried. I listen. But then I tell her how I feel. My injustice. She says sorry.
Sometimes trying to love like Christ is a pain. Sometimes living out kingdom values is a struggle. Sometimes mission aches.