Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Monday, December 22, 2008

What's their problem?

We have stained glass windows in our church on a public corner down town. A few weeks ago some bright spark threw a beer bottle through one of the windows. We had to get it fixed. I heard one of our property guys talking to our treasurer. It cost over a $1000 to fix! One stupid act. We are a church that tries to serve the community. We run a drop-in and feed at least 40 people on Friday nights. We give food and money to a local food bank. We have programs geared to support people in the community. That means that $1000 is wasted! It cannot be spent on the community! Why does someone want to throw beer bottles at us? Are they angry? Why are they angry? It seems stupid. (Not that I am all in favour of stained glass windows, but they were there well before I was.)

I was sitting in the car parked opposite the law courts today while my wife paid a bill. (No not at the court!) All of a sudden a whole lot of people, some wearing gang patches, spewed out on the footpath. They were yelling abuse at each other and threatening each other. One mob went off one way while the others came toward where I was parked. There were children, teenagers and adults. They were comparing notes about their court appearances and asking who else was still inside. I looked at them. Some were quite nice looking young people but with gang patches on and tats. I wondered about their lifestyle. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure that their way of life will lead to suffering for them, for their families, for the people about them and the community. Why do it? Why not sit down and figure it out and change your ways? What are they angry about? How can people reach out to them?

I ache for people like that. I have no answers. People who say they have answers often have over simplified theories. But I wish I could make a difference for them.

Exercise report: Today I climbed my mountain. The photo is a rock formation called the Organ Pipes part way up the shorter track I went on today. They used to be much more imposing and impressive, but a rock fall a few years ago sent the larger ones tumbling down the hill.

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