It’s been another busy week at the Vicarage. Not only do we have Polly and the baby still in residence, but we’ve had Voice staying as well. Voice loves to lead singing in church and is on a week’s work experience with another local church. We are just providing accommodation for Voice as she’s spending most of her time with the other church, singing in services and meetings and helping out with their activities.
Voice is only fifteen, so it’s been interesting having her stay. We’ve been trying to get her to give us the inside track on being a teenager so we are better prepared to handle our gang when they hit those challenging years. Her capacity for sleep is enormous, even to the extent of being completely comotose through our jet-engine sounding shower pump going.
Gone has called at our front door three times in the last week, drunk, homeless and very sad. This morning I gave him a cup of coffee and a sandwich as he sat on the front step, waiting to speak to the Vicar. As he added more Frosty Jack to his coffee, he became more restless and abusive.
I was trying to find out about local hostels for him when he finally left. He couldn’t wait for the Vicar. The booze had made him too jittery. One minute he was weeping and admitting the mess he’s in, the next he was swearing and threatening to throw lighted paraffin over the front door.
I didn’t feel in any danger, though. As spoke to him softly, I could see the self-loathing in his eyes. And the Vicar and his elders were meeting in the study.
He probably won’t find a hostel place, though, cos he’s on the booze. He told me that he’s thinking about doing something to get himself locked up. At least in prison you are fed and given a warm bed. He’s 51, and has been told that he’ll die soon, given the state of his liver. He keeps warm by begging for a day saver ticket and then spending all day on the bus. That way he can cope with being out all night.
He needs too much help to stay with us. I can only pray and feed him sandwiches and gentle answers.