I did a placement at the Priory Drug and Alcohol Clinic when I was training as a vicar.
At the clinic I saw people sharing their lives and their struggles together, there people had nothing in common other than their addiction but the bond and love they showed each other was truly beautiful.
On one occasion I remember seeing a wealthy buisness man break down in tears with a young homeless guy putting his arm around his shoulders, and I thought this at heart has instinctively understood what Church should be and feel like better than any Church I have ever been in.
The other thing that I learned from rehab was the role of the counsillor, who was also an alcoholic, who had been in active recovery for a long time, but still knew he was addicted to Alcohol. In many ways all of us who serve Churches in anyway are ‘wounded healers’, we are all broken people, and in the case of the counsillor needs to safeguard his recovery, and with the Christian, we need to safeguard of walk with God.
I sometimes wonder whether people who are Christians still see themselves as people who sin as part of their daily lives. Tell someone their behaviour is sinful, even when it clearly is, will often get a explosive reaction.
I wonder whether seeing ourselves as ‘sin addicts’ has some value, something we need to be vigilant, accountable and ruthless even in our persuit of a life without the various snares of sin that ‘so easily entangle’. I wonder if we thought about holiness the way an addict thinks about sobriety whether we would have a very different idea about life and leadership. Perhaps too, we might not see these dreadful tragic falls of some leaders who looked so sorted from a distance.
So let’s learn from rehab, let’s be a people of authenticity, real about struggle, honest about brokenness, truthful about our fears and failures. Let’s be people who truly carry each other’s burdens, and hold one another accountable. Let’s not out in these fake veneers of sortednesss but admit that we are followers with a limp, ‘wounded healers’ to quote Heri Nowen.
Let’s see our Chuches in the buisness of transformation, hope and changed lives, real with the grot and pain of lives but held in the context and physical arms of love.
Let’s me be people honest about our need of God and his great grace.
A place where the broken run too rather than anyway from.