Here is something interesting. When I Google "the church drunk uncle", I get my own blog! Chalk up another great blow on my behalf for Jesus and evangelism. I should get some form of award from the people at GlogBlogCon.
Strangely enough, I actually had a Drunk Uncle when I was growing up. He was a refined and subtle drunk though. I never saw him smashed, falling down, shameful. In our family, that sort of thing never happened. You kept your dysfunction well hidden, proper-looking, and in check. But I remember when my Dad would speak of The Uncle, it was with a mixture of sadness and anger. The Uncle never stopped the drinking, and ended up passing away, early, in his mid 50's, during my senior year of college. Although it wasn't spoken of, it was probably from the drinking.
Why do I tell you this? I had lunch with a good friend today, someone I have known for more than 20 years. Turns out this fellow is a pastor as well. He took over a church that was pretty sick about 7 years ago. The pastor had misbehaved, left the church, and nearly drove the place into the ground in the act of leaving. Those left behind were shell shocked, tired, wounded. It took a long time to heal, but by God's good grace, this same church today is a vibrant and growing place.
My church? Well these days, it feels not unlike a Drunk Uncle. From the exterior, nice looking buildings, albeit old and traditional. But on the inside, pretty messed up these days. When I think of it, we are all like that, in varying ways, including me.
Guess what I decided today? I decided, again, that I love the Drunk Uncle. I am willing to hold his head while he barfs, get some coffee into him, and see if he might not want to try out a good recovery program. We all need some recovery. There is still lots of hope.