Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A beautiful person I know and other stuff.

Early morning in our lounge the bike being assembled. They did not teach me that in theology college?
Phew! Made it....
I started the week with an enormous "to do" list and quite a number of deadlines and appointments. I wondered if I would ever get through them. Other things have come up during the week. Here are some on the list; An Elders' team meeting where I had to report. A meeting with a man from the local council about funding contributions to the night shelter. Going to buy a bike with a man who had his stolen. I had been gifted money to do this. Do an update of time sheets and statistics related to my chaplaincy work... I was way behind. Helping to host a citizenship seminar and then a new immigrants tour in Space2B at our Church. Record a radio Church service to be played on Easter Sunday. Prepare a service for the weekend. Prepare for and meet with a social work student and her supervisor to workout if we can offer her a fieldwork placing. Do chaplaincies. etc.etc. Then there were extras. There was a bit of drama at the night shelter early Tuesday morning. Repairs had to be made. I discovered I had to assemble the bike. A door had to be fixed at the church. The elders' meeting threw up a couple of little tasks. Always too there are people to talk with and sometimes their timing is difficult. But I made it! Great! As I packed up tonight I saw a bit of paper with a telephone message on it and I swore. I was meant to reply to him! The one job I missed. But while driving home tonight I saw the man I bought the bike for peddling his way through town and I smiled a smile of satisfaction. (The seat is way too low for proper biking, but I could not convince him to have it higher.)
Meet Brian Laws
In my work in the community I meet with a number of people and often feel privileged to share with them. I'll introduce you to Brian who is treasurer of our Night Shelter Trust. A fuse blew at the Night Shelter on Sunday and I visited to check everything was OK. There I met Brian who was doing the same thing. He is a man in his mid seventies. He is not a rich man, but a lovely guy. If he sets his mind on something and thinks it is important he can stubbornly put his point of view quite forcefully. The thing with him is that he is pulling his weight and more, so you are compelled to listen. He has an immense job as treasurer, but he is always doing those extra little things for the night shelter, taking real ownership of it. As I talked with Brian on Sunday he was off to buy some oysters and chips for a bedridden, demanding man that he visits. This man has always been a bludger around the churches, and has burned bridges with lots of people. I once tried to get a wheelchair taxi for him for the Christmas dinner but the drivers refused to take him because of the abuse he dished out. He is not the nicest man on the block, but he is needy and Brian in love and grace visits and helps him while the rest of us are pleased we can avoid him. There are times when we run out of volunteers for supervising the Night Shelter. Brian is so determined that it remain open and available that he will offer to stay over night. He tells me that for him it is quite a stressful proposition, and he once had a difficult guy come in who scared him, but he is prepared to go beyond his comfort zone and do the job.  There is courage! This Easter weekend he is down to take two nights! Brian is a devout Catholic man. He has a beautiful, down to earth humble nature. He is one of God's saints. He inspires me by his very presence, his persistent kindness and loveliness.

Have a great Easter everyone.

1 comment:

Keith Harris said...

Many of us would do well to be a little like Brian. A humble man, but once met not easily forgotten