The Mission Intern Blues

25 Feb

Can a man rebuild his house and learn to love himself again?
In sessions, he unbends the sinew of his story and I try
to listen, though as ligament to bone so lying to addiction.

To myself I make a defense of alcoholism: a twist of denial
and a bottle of gin, a little thing I call an “old best friend”.
Out loud I mention the Apostle Paul’s saying, Christ came to save

sinners, of whom I am.  After Paul’s conversion—heavenly light,
the Spirit given—I counsel, no true freedom of your own doing.   
He shrugs, quotes Philippians, forgetting what is behind,
   
I keep pressing on…
I ask the plan for his next temptation
and he says, God’s will be done.  Well, yes…(my face fails
to bless, and I can see our time here is coming to an end.)

In the little counseling room between already and not yet
loving, I find myself unable to bear another man’s burden
and cursing the God who came to us in common human skin.

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