Things I hate

Posted on April 30, 2008. Filed under: Uncategorized |

I love doing ministry. Mainly just the music part of it, though. I can’t say I’m really good with people. Not where I want to be anyway. Honestly, I guess I am a little hard on myself. It’s not that I’m not good with people, it’s just that I am a young, growing leader, and I have a long way to go. I love working with people, but hate some of the things I have to watch sometimes.

That being said, if you are familiar with Pinnacle Church at all, you know we are all about extending a helping hand. We tried to do that with my friend D. For confidentiality purposes, we’ll just call him “D.” Let me tell you the whole story:

So there I was, driving up the 74 on-ramp at exit 98 in Waynesville on my usual morning commute to work. Out of nowhere, I saw a guy on the side of the road. Now let me say this. I usually don’t pick up hitchhikers, but it was like I had no choice. It was honestly as if God reached down into my hands, and pulled the car over for me. The car came to a complete stop, the door opened, and in stepped D. Now D smelled a little weird, was very scruffy and unshaven, and reeked of alcohol. Once in, he shut the door, and said he needed to get to Canton. (The next town over) I said OK, and off we went. As we drove down the road, he wasted no time before telling me that he was an alcoholic, and was in a fight which eventually led him on his trip to the county jail. All this while he was crying. This annoyed me, I’m just being honest. I was already taking him to his destination, but I felt like I needed to minister to him somehow. I asked him if he had eaten breakfast yet, and he said no, so I took him to McDonald’s to get him some food. After going through the drive through, we started towards the office where I introduced him to Lee Brown. Now, if you Know who Lee is, You know Lee doesn’t play games. Lee is heavily involved in recovery ministry, and really knows how to deal with guys like this. I wanted to meet his needs, but because of his situation, I really didn’t know how to speak his language. I didn’t know what was best for him. Maybe Lee didn’t either, but I think he had a better idea than me. After sitting with Lee and D for a while, we both came to the conclusion that D was a whole lot more wasted than either of us thought he was. That being said, our conversation ended after Lee issued D a few challenges, and then it became obvious that D was very uninterested, so he left. And that was that.

Months later, D showed up at our door again. This time more sober. As he came in the door of the newly renovated Hub, we began to strike a great conversation, just like old friends. immediately, I still felt the need to minister to this guy, but wasn’t sure how. As we began talking deeper, he told me that he wasn’t in much better condition he was in the last time. He was asking for money, and other things, but I felt like if I gave him that, I wouldn’t be really helping him at all, just band-aiding a problem. I knew of a ministry in Asheville that may be able to help him- The Western North Carolina Rescue Mission. They have an in-stay recovery program targeted at helping people who are addicted to Drugs and alcohol. They also lend a big helping hand to the homeless. What a perfect fit! Here’s a guy who’s got no where to go, no money, and wants booze. So I told D about the opportunity, and he was interested.

So there we were the next day, clothes in hand at the WNC Rescue Mission. he was nervous, but ready to make a life change. Now hear me out, this wasn’t going to be easy, for sure! D was still fired up and ready to go. In the fist month, D came to know Jesus as his savior, and began a great walk with God. I even watched D get baptized as I stood there with my wife and his 10 year old daughter. She was proud… Gleaming actually. It had probably been a long time since she seen her dad sober like that. It was a happy Day.

Last week, he got a pass so that he could come see his daughter again. He had a ride back to Canton, who was evidently an old friend whom he had called. When his ride didn’t show up on time, he began to walk. Bad idea. You can leave the premises of the recovery center unless you are with someone, and for good reason. D’s first stop on his short lived stroll: The liquor store. When he arrived back to the center, they new what was up. They don’t tolerate belligerent behavior, and rightfully so. You have to show tough love to those guys sometimes. So, D was let go from the program. He has the option to come back in 30 days, but it doesn’t look good. I went to take D to get some glasses this morning, and when I went to go get him, he was so blistered he couldn’t walk. When I finally got him in the car and out of the older Lady’s home he was staying with, and causing lots of trouble, I quickly saw that this was going no where. We went down the street, and parked on main after having quite an incoherent conversation. When he got out of the car, he began walking down the street, and was so drunk he nearly fell out in front of a car. He could have been killed. Unfortunately, for his own safety the local law enforcement had to be called. So D went to jail. I hated to watch that, so I didn’t. I just went back up to my office trying to have the confidence that I did what I knew was right.

Very Sad. I hate this part of ministry. Never did I want someone to succeed so badly. I think that this situation is the kind of stuff that real ministry is made of, yet we don’t think about that on ordination day. In all of my frustration and disappointment, I still knew how good of a person D could be. I also realized through the help of a good friend that we as humans are quick to want grace, but slow to give it. I hate it for D. My plan is to go pick him up from jail tomorrow, and talk to him, and see what I can do to help him. Kind of a hard task, huh? I hope that as you read this, you can partner with me to pray for D. He needs it. I believe in him, but I’m not sure anyone else does. Pray that God will show me, and him what to do, and that when he shows us, we’ll do it.

Tell me what you think…

Josh

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2 Responses to “Things I hate”

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The Christian life is not a cakewalk! I know God is glad you stepped up, and one day, “D” will be, too…

Sounds to me like God is growing you right out of your comfort zone!

Wow. So nice to read the blog of a local guy who is really doing it, man. I appreciate you taking the time to write this up and share it.

Dirty ministry. It’s hard. It’s scary. It hurts. I’m afraid of it, myself. I’ve never done it. No stories to tell. But it’s the stuff that really matters.

Keep writing ’em, man. Love it. Maybe someday we’ll bump into each other at the Hub or somewhere else in Canton. 🙂


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