How Can These Things Be ?

I was surprised when the counsellor I was seeing told me it would be good for me to attend Alanon. Apparently he didn’t get that I wasn’t the one with the problems – he assured me I was. And, although I was naively surprised, ( if I’d asked my friends…) it also suffused me with hope. If the problems were mine then I could certainly do whatever it took to come to a place of emotional health. His comment lifted me almost instantly from the status of struggling victim to potential victor.

It was pretty brutal work, possibly much of it unnessarily so. There were probably lots of short cuts I missed along the way, signs I misread, months when I stumbled around like Pooh in the Hundred Acre Wood, circling the same sad lies and memories. But by amazing grace, merciful interventions and wonderful friendships I came out on the other side. Not to say I have all the answers – not by a half. But I have peace, joy, love, strength and hope. And that’s not half bad – in fact I’d say it was good. Very, very good.

How Can These Things Be

Because a corner of your soul
died that day and deep inside 
the shock waves ripple yet.
Because rough hands  bruised you
though your soul, already callused
did not feel.

Because nameless, faceless
hands make worse the wound
and the only cure you know
makes matters worse.

Because your anger and your pain
are fertile ground for seeds
of noxious weeds to send forth shoots
and the long roots of bitterness
stretch to the farthest reaches of your soul.

And the doctor says you’re dead mate
and the undertaker too 
and the pall bearers
hurry to the wake.

Because of that you must be born again.




John 3: 1-9

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