A Stranger To My Brothers

On a recent work-day at my church, where I was helping clean up the grounds, we found 13 empty scotch bottles around the property. They were all the same brand, and some of them were still in their weathered paper bag wrappers.

I have to think that the person who obliterated himself 13 times outside of our church selected that spot for a reason. I can’t help but imagine what he was thinking as he delved into drunkenness just outside of the building where God’s love and grace and help-in-time-of-need are preached.

Inside the church we say that God is good and he loves you. Outside the church men are evil and do terrible things to one another. On the edge of the parking lot is one who wants to believe what he was taught as a child but has seen or experienced too much evil in this world to accept God’s goodness as an uncomplicated truth. He stands outside the circle of believers and asks why his belief doesn’t come so easy. Psalm 69 speaks his mind:

I am a stranger to my brothers,
an alien to my own mother’s sons.
I sink in the miry depths
where there is no foothold.
I have come into the deep waters;
the floods engulf me.
I am worn out calling for help;
my throat is parched.
My eyes fail
looking for my God.