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Monday, July 8, 2013

...saved my life....



7/6

Walking down Amsterdam after a conversation with my friend Elise. It’s an old conversation, but we are both painfully aware of the reality of the mainline church, regardless of the denomination. Large, affluent churches will continue on into the future, outposts little changed. But the larger church, the denominations, the church as we have known it is over. Anyone who’s watching closely can see it. Drying up, withering at the grass roots. There’s a sea change happening. Something aching to be born. What is our role in this birthing process? We continue to seek, with others, to figure that out...

We also talk about mental about illness. We both see a lot of the same neighborhood characters.  Our Upper West Side is like a small town. For example, when I arrived at her church, the Prophet had been sleeping there for a couple of hours. (Her church is at least air conditioned...) So much remains mysterious. What do you do when someone has so clearly crossed an important boundary and then returned as if nothing had happened? Made wild accusations, used abusive or assaultive verbal attacks or seriously disrespected property and then comes back as if they have no memory? And finding people clothed and in their right mind is as unsettling as the worlds of mania or paranoia.  As Elise reminds me, that is the definition of crazy. How I forget my first rule...don’t try to have a rational conversation in an irrational situation. It really is like demon possession  taking over, displacing intelligent, good caring people we know. They are not who they are. Didn’t Jesus promise us the power to cast out demons? Apparently not.  All we can do is be open, accepting, welcoming. And if boundaries are crossed, ask them to leave. And if need be, all 911.

It’s dark. I look down 86th and my heart sinks. It’s Sean. I walk up. Uh Sean...
Oh man, I know. I know. I am sorry for the troubles I cause you. And for getting up in your face. I seem to go after the people who care about me. I don’t know why... and I’m sorry about that mess...I know that was nasty. Shit man. I owe so much to so many...I got these people ready to get me my prostheses. But I can’t get it together. Get me a place to stay. But I fuck up. Starting with Teddy man. I hate to keep talking about him,  man. But he, Teddy saved my life. Saved my life. And I fucked it up. And you. And so many people in this neighborhood....I owe you. And my daughter.....I gotta go back. Gotta rehab. Gotta do it. For my daughter...

Sean, in the end you gotta do it for you. You have to want it for you. You gotta lotta people pulling for you. I’ll keep praying for you. Help you anyway I can. If that’s what you really want...

I’ll be headin out now...

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