Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

"So let us not grow weary in doing what is right" ... yeah right!

"Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have.." (Hebrews 13)
The Apostle Paul in Galatians tells me "not to grow weary" and the Hebrews writer tells me "not to neglect to do good".  Sorry saintly authors, today I am sick of doing good. 
Two sad men... On Sunday after Church I had conversations with two different guys. One was struggling with drugs, alcohol and finances and says he desperately wanted to change. The other confided that he had attempted to take his own life! What do I do? How can I be more available to them?
"Can you speak at our club, about Christmas dinner and the stuff you do?" - I had a phone call like this today. Its on my day off, the day before we head away for a holiday in October - I'd rather not. "Well what about next year?" I will be retired! I hope not to be speaking anywhere! But it would be a great way to spread my concept of what the Church should be? I could publicize the Night Shelter cause? "Oh ... OK, I'll do it on that Monday in October." How to tell my wife?
The hospital staff have crazy expectations of the Night Shelter! One hospital person at midnight wanted to send a woman who had been talking suicide.  The manager said "no" but it has caused ripples. We are not resourced for that! Another person from another department wanted the Night Shelter Staff to do some social work during the day for one of their patients. They were critical when our manager said "no". We are working hard to provide emergency night time accommodation! We have to beg for every dollar we spend. All the members of the Trust Board are volunteers! We have so much stuff to do and there are so few of us! As chairman I feel weary. There is so much to do that I can't get around to doing it all. I feel like there is a cloud of unfinished Night Shelter stuff over my head but every other Trust Board member is very busy in their job too. I have yet another meeting to run tomorrow night.
Can you help provide this elderly man a washing machine, some lounge furniture and stuff! Again a social worker at the hospital has got it into her head that I am a freelance social worker who can work miracles. This guy is being forced to move and resettle.  We know him through our drop-in centre. She rang me and left a message when I had a couple of days off visiting my son last week. When I got in touch with her, she seemed to be saying, "Where were you when I needed you!" Like - "How dare you take time off." This man had been in to Space2B to seek my help about some other related things when I was not there. This afternoon I went to see him. I knocked on his door. I could hear the TV or radio going inside and a light was on. I went to his yard and looked at the thing he was concerned about, measured it and checked it out. I went back to his door three times and knocked. The door bell did not ring. I suspect, from my knowledge of his habits, he was drunk. I gave up, jumped in my van and reversed out his drive glancing at his door in case he belatedly came out.... CRUNCH! I wiped out a rear vision mirror on a lamp post! Aaagh! Too distracted by all this stuff running through my mind.
"Could you take on a chaplaincy? You had it before but its reduced hours now.. they already know you?" But I am trying to lighten my load! But I probably am the right fit? It would help out Workplace Support? But... do I want more?
"Could you please..?" "Have you got....?" "Would we be able to...?"  "Can I book the hall for...?" These sorts of statements seem to be coming thick and fast. I feel like I am just keeping my head above water. I want to scream, "But I have health problems and uncertainties! Get off my back!" 
I went to my Doctor today. He brought up the hospital's MRI report on the computer and was kind enough to turn his screen around and go through it with me. I have a "1.4cm area of T2 ".. a "capsule" of uncertain tissue... if it is "carcinoma" it is in the very early stages. They recommend an "ultra-sound guided biopsy." "When are they seeing you?" my Doctor asked after he had explained it all. "I do not know?" I replied. "Hope it is soon." he commented. It has been distracting all day having seen the word similar to "carcinoma" on a report about parts of my body! That happens to other people. I have hopes and vague plans for next year, but this uncertainty hangs over them.
I feel responsible, I ought to do the right thing. I feel like I cannot say "no". I lie awake at night stewing about it. But I feel weighed down almost to the point of stagnation by the "to do list" always before me. 

"Hey, St Paul," I am "weary of doing what is right."  I feel like I want to "neglect to do the good" and jump off the merry-go-round for a break! 102 days to go till retirement!

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