Thursday, March 02, 2006

Patrick's picture of grace...

I stood outside his front door wondering if I was doing the right thing. I knocked - no answer. I knocked again - again no answer. I open the letterbox and yell "....Pa-a-a-trick .....PATRICK!" I stood back smiled at the inquisitive neighbour as if that was a normal thing to do - and waited.
We weren't his best buddies when he was stood across the road with a sharpened stick shouting "I am at war with you....!"

Patrick didn't come for breakfast today. We not his best buddies since we asked him to leave on Tuesday for being extremely abusive to Kate. We're not his best buddies since two social workers turned up to speak with him. We weren't his best buddies when he was stood across the road with a sharpened stick shouting "I am at war with you....!". We certainly were not his best buddies when he 'explained' to Bram that I had stabbed in the back. Maybe Patrick is sulking with us - who knows I am still worried for him.

I waited at the door not really knowing what to expect.

The door opens, I am welcomed and I entered the world that is Patrick. I tried not to look into the kitchen or bathroom but walked into Pat's bedsit, the smell clinging to the over heated room. Inside my gaze wanders, Patrick follows my gaze and volunteers softly "I am so ashamed...".

His room is full of societies cast off's. Patrick is a one man recycling machine of rubbish. There are broken toys, bits of furniture, old papers, magazines, piles of clothes at different levels of rancidity... everywhere!

"Is this why you wouldn't let the social workers in Patrick?"

He nods.

"Are you frightened that they will say you can't stay here because of all of this?"

He nods.

"Shall we do something about it?" I ask tentatively.

He nods.

Later that afternoon we take the bagged up clothes to our hall to dispose of - we'll get him a new set. Next week we've arranged to tackle the rest of the bedsit. As we throw these clothes into our rubbish he goes to give me a hug, changes his mind and offers his hand instead and without looking up from the ground mutters "thanks - I don't deserve it...!"

I feel a lump in my throat - "Patrick you'll always deserve it...!"


Kathryn said...

So much grace in this post. Thank you.

Naomi said...

Awwww... I'm a sucker for your stories about Patrick, Victor and your other mates. I must admit I'm sad at your new appointment because of that! How shallow am I?

Rob said...

beautiful ... thanks

Sarah said...

this one is so inspirational. i can only pray that when my patricks come along, i will have the grace to love no matter what, and the bravery to offer help. thank you for teaching me a little bit tonight. :)

BrownEyedGirl said...

Truly blessed. That is ministry, sacrement at it's fullest.Thanks so much for sharing.

Gordon said...

Evangeline - you're not the onlyone who will be missing Patrick and Victor etc... Bram linked willbe where I pop to see how he is getting on