Thursday, 23 October 2014
Dear Inner Circle,
I was sitting in my office last week with a man who has everything in the world except the love of his partner. He spat words at me that told of a time when his partner couldn’t get enough of him and how now nothing he did registered any kind of response of love or tenderness. He dreads most nights as he lays awake next to the person he loves; so close but never more alone. He is addicted to pornography. This was not a bad man, but just a man.
When the man recalled his early years of relationship, he told of how his partner came to life in his presence and was responsive to his touch. His memory was half right. He didn’t understand that the power came from his presence not from his touch. His touch never had any power except that which belongs to being in the present with another. What a powerful and common illusion! Nearly all pornography feeds off this illusion and seeing it and naming it is the path to liberation.
Growing up is a difficult process. The man in my office was in love with his ideal partner, not the real one who shared his life. His idea exists in his own head but the real was beside him, bearing the weight of all the arrangements that life demands and even helping to raise some beautiful kids. I didn’t meet the man’s partner but I suspect love was present and shown in many ways invisible to the man himself. I asked the man if he was the person with whom his partner fell in love and if he was someone that inspired belief. He admitted that he’d become sometimes a nagger, a whinger and if anything, a recluse.
The more he relied on pornography to feed the illusion that others were turned on by mere touch and were hanging out and just waiting to be touched, the more he disengaged from life and especially from the one person he loved above all others. I didn’t tell this fellow not to watch pornography but to speak to it, declaring it to be not true but empty. No body wants to be lied to and when he sees clearly the illusion, he’ll lose interest. Being disillusioned isn’t a bad thing. Illusions serve some purpose, especially in childhood. When someone tells me that they’re disillusioned with the church or anything else, I often like to ask from which illusions they were suffering. Life is better when illusions are laid aside and life is better when women are people rather than objects.
We’re living with a heart wrenching death of a 32 year old woman this week and we’ve had some close calls on our own property. One fellow we checked on in the shower was unconscious and purple faced when we started to work on him. I’m pleased to say that we got him off to hospital and he’s ok. It’s all in a days work for our fabulous team of people. This particular man would have come back to life to find himself looking into the face of none other than our own John. There is a lot of people who’ve been brought back to life and found themselves looking into John’s lovely face.
On a lighter note, if you live locally and would like to join in a night of shopping and community, I am told it is Buy Nothing New Month and Wayside is hosting a Clothes Swap. I could do with swapping some clothes but pretty sure no one would want the ones I was willing to swap. The Clothes Swap is on Thursday 30th October from 6.30pm-8.30pm and you can buy tickets here.
Thanks for being part of our inner circle,
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Be sure to follow Graham on Twitter if you have an account; @waysidepastor
Previous Inner Circles
16 October 2014: The best medicine
9 October 2014: Who would have guessed?
2 October 2014: There's no such thing as a terrorist
21 August: Saving souls
14 August: Squeaking out
7 August: A time for turning
31 July: You're okay
24 July: Happy tears
17 July: Let's aim higher
10 July: Gristle and good
3 July: The joy of not knowing
26 June: If not now, when? If not me, who?
12 June: Longing for riches
5 June: When you least expect it
22 May: Finding home
15 May: Flying
8 May: Tests, triumps and tissues
1 May: Skuse the French
24 April: Lifting the curtain
17 April: Collective love
10 April: Cardiac arrest
3 April: Awe struck
27 March: You're invited to something special
20 March: Rather a prohet than a loss
13 March: It's all happening at the wayside
6 March: Love makes all the difference
27 February: What goes around
20 February: The joy of being empty handed
13 February: Loving the growth spurts
6 February: Mighty glad to be back by the wayside
23 January: Some criminals have class
16 January: Wonderful surprises
9 January: Ready, set
19 December: Thanks for an awesome year
12 December: Mission and wishin'
5 December: The ups and downs and all is well
28 November: Kissed by the community
21 November: Our cup runneth over
14 November: A revelation from wayside
7 November: When excrement happens
31 October: I am therefore I think
24 October: We are surrounded by heroes
17 October: When you least suspect
26 September: A wayside wobbly
19 September: Knowing a gift
12 September: Advancing at the retreat
5 September: A little dose of good
29 August: Fighting with a feather
22 August: The boom is just beginning
15 August: True riches
8 August: Small is beautiful
1 August: Sensitive people miss all the best views
25 July: A whole lot going on at wayside
18 July: Kings Cross a place of courage
27 June: Holy ground