The first time I ever saw a drug addict was at a Rolling Stones concert in Hyde Park – a long time ago. There were actually two of them, and I remember how awful they looked, but I also remember thinking “Nutters!” As years passed, I saw many more and I have to admit that I felt total disdain for them – they were nothings, and were not to be trusted as they would rob and steal. Time went by, though, and I started to see them in the chemists waiting disconsolately for their methadone. My heart started to change.
There is a belief or custom in many societies that age brings wisdom. This gave rise to the role of Elder, where the older members of the family or society are in a position of leadership, and this has been incorporated into church life, though here spiritual maturity is normally the qualifying factor rather than physical age. Note that I have said the age brings wisdom, not intelligence or knowledge. I am sure that we have all met someone who is incredibly clever, but who shouldn’t really be allowed out on their own!
We read a lot these days about identity theft. In the last year it cost Â£1.9bn in the UK, affecting an estimated 1.8 million people.
Wikipedia states that “the victim of identity theft (here meaning the person whose identity has been assumed by the identity thief) can suffer adverse consequences if he or she is held accountable for the perpetrator’s actions. Organizations and individuals who are duped or defrauded by the identity thief can also suffer adverse consequences and losses, and to that extent are also victims.”
Sometimes he does it in the form of an amazing miracle, such as sending manna and quail to feed the Israelites in the desert. Sometimes he does it through the voice of Jesus, who told Lazarus to come out of the tomb. Sometimes he does it through Peter’s shadow, healing the sick at the side of the road, and sometimes he does it through the great evangelists of today. Sometimes it is spontaneous, mostly it is through prayer, always it is because of love.
I have been known to be a bit clumsy. I am also a master of the understatement!