I’ve been learning a lesson lately. (I know I have been slow getting this). Questions are important. My grandson and I took a long walk this week and jumped in hundreds of puddles along the way. He asked a torrent of questions many of which I had no clue of the answer. I’ll have to remember to google “Why is the sky blue?” He was perfectly content to learn the extent of his grandfather’s ignorance and I managed to avoid the reply “Because I said so!”. Sometimes I diverted by turning the question around “What do you think?” or “Why do you ask?”. Together we learned a lot because we asked and listened to each other.
Jesus asks and answers many questions, in the gospels and we stand to learn a lot if we answer and listen. Questions like “Who is my neighbour?”, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” or “When did we see you hungry, naked, or in prison?” These are great questions all.
Lately I have been posing questions to myself, God and my community. “What does the next chapter of my life look like?” Do I simply wind down into retirement or do I have another active chapter yet to write? One of the folks I look to most for guidance encouraged me to ‘dream big’ and God has laid the issue of addictions on my heart. Addictions seem, to me, to be at the heart of many of the social ills that plague our community, whether crime, violence, family disfunction, homelessness, or poverty. I have often felt that efforts to alleviate the above list would be much enhanced by concentrated efforts toward ‘Recovery’.
A friend posed a few questions that cemented my thinking. He asked “When was the last time you heard of someone freezing to death in Saint John? Or Someone starving to death?” Then he pointed out that almost daily you can read obituaries of those who lost their lives to over dose or suicide because of addictions.
Bill Wilson and many others have discovered that recovery is an issue of spiritual revival. It is within the Church that the true answer for addiction lies and so we bear a special burden of responsibility on this front.
All these questions led me to the conclusion that this is too big a challenge to ignore and so I am praying about Street Hope’s response. One of the key items for prayer is the idea of having a storefront in Waterloo Village where we would concentrate our Spiritual/Recovery work and expanding our staff to include someone with specialised addictions counselling expertise.
I will be writing further on this subject, no doubt, in weeks ahead, but I invite you to join me in prayer and to consider if there are ways you might be a part of the answer to this great challenge. Asking the question is important and I pray that you might ‘hear’ a clear answer.