… and this just in: News from the Streets of Ipswich. Issue 21


The Word on the Street



So many amazing and fascinating things go on in Ipswich, as I move around on the streets making friends with people. There are lots of stories I can’t share, for various reasons, but I find there are many that I can.

I hope this series gives a colourful insight into life in the street culture of Ipswich. This is the community into which I speak God’s Word. I love the people, and I see God powerfully at work here.

So then I got drunk

cryingA friend gave me a wonderfully vivid, if brief, glimpse into the life of an alcoholic. He told me why he was drunk that day.

This man’s 3 year old son had fallen and badly hurt his mouth – his teeth went through his tongue and lip. In response, the man had put his phone in hock to get some cash, so that he could buy the alcohol required to get drunk.


So how did I respond to that?

Here’s a multiple choice. See if you can guess which one I went with:

  1. “I hope you made sure he was ok before you went out drinking”
  2. “It might have been better to leave the drinking alone for that day, and just be there for your boy”
  3. “Hiding in the alcohol won’t make the troubles of life go away”
  4. “Let me explain why it hurts so much: You love your boy. It hurts you to see him in pain. You’re obviously a good dad”

Yes, that’s right. I went with, “You’re a good dad”. Then he turned away rather than cry in front of my face.

The thing is that this man has no coping mechanism for grief. He has no satisfactory way to express even the most basic strong emotions, but he feels the emotions because of his love. He is a loving man. A loving man with no good coping mechanisms. Many people with substance abuse issues are just like him.


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