Tag Archives: counseling

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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The Denial Of Violence

27 Oct

2.  The Denial Of Violence

It was in a seminary lecture on violence that God spoke, quietly and clearly, “John, violence is a problem for you.  You need some help.”  I went to my professor after class and told him about some of my failures.  Later, we met and he told me to participate in an anger management group and other counseling if I wanted to continue taking classes at that school.

I was embarrassed and alarmed again.  But I followed his recommendation and began to see how my angry, vengeful violence could be changed; that, in fact, the very meaning of my violence could be changed.  (continue)