Friday, June 26, 2009

Derek's Lucazade...

It's funny what relationships at Faith House do to you.

Last time I was at Faith House I stood outside with Derek as he drunkenly smoked his roll up, we chatted. I liked being on the door when at youth club in Poplar, it was where discussions happened. This felt the same as we talked about what it is to be a minister, a Christian, and '...bl**dy cyclists'! Derek got to know me a little more and I got to know Derek that little more. We shared something of each other.

I saw his lucozade bottle tucked inside his jacket, it is always there, ready. His supposed life line. He caught me looking at the bottle. I laughed, "Derek I love Lucozade..."

"You wouldn't like this Lucozade..."
his reply sharp.

"It's a different colour to what I remember, is it new?".

Derek looks up and says "No...!",

"...perhaps I could have a sip",

"NO - you wouldn't like THIS Lucozade..!"


I snigger and he knows I'm pulling his leg, we share laughter. Later that evening Derek tells us all that he was glad when he was 'in here' with us because he wasn't 'out there' with them.

Tonight Derek was cold stone sober, quiet, distant, something was up - but he wouldn't say. As I left I saw the Lucozade bottle tucked inside his jacket. Tonight as I cycled home and thought through the evening, I was both pleased he was sober but also worried that Derek wasn't himself, worried that his Lucozade would be too available.

Relationships are funny at Faith House! People quickly become a big part of your life.

1 comment:

Karyn Romeis said...

I admire the love that allows you to reach out and touch people like Derek. We have a few homeless people in our church who each carry a bottle something like Derek's Lucozade, and all have that permanently glazed look of perpetual drunkenness. They are often chivvied out of the church by their handler, who wants them out there selling his drugs. Mostly, they are so afraid of him that they go. He has been known to brandish a knife at one of our congregants.

I have never been able to engage them one on one, because I am terrified of them. My father was an alcoholic, and I have always been reduced to a jibbering wreck in the presence of drunkenness. I always have to leave parties when the wine has been flowing for a while. I make some kind of excuse, but the real reason is that I am scared witless.

My husband understands my irrational panic and knows its cause, but it presents a very real stumbling block in my dealings with people. Instead of reaching out to them in their brokenness, I just want to run away and hide.

Thank God for people like you who make up for my ineptitude!