I read my Bathsheba monologues in Zac's last night. On reflection it probably wasn't a good idea although Ric did suggest that I was in the wrong business and that I could make a fortune writing dirty books.
I had a really good chat with Jerry last night (okay, he did most of the talking). We had exchanged greetings on the road on Sunday morning when I was going in to the prison and he was off to the Marina. He said last night that he had recognised me but he couldn't place me. He said, 'Next time I'm in prison, if you're in for the Sunday service, I'll put my name down for it.'
'Why not try not to get into prison again instead?'
Jerry has spent a lifetime in borstals and prison. He shrugged, 'It's all right in there.'
Jerry is an alcoholic who, when he's totally plastered, can be aggressive, changeable and thoroughly unpleasant but when he's the closest he gets to sober he's funny and gentle. Alcohol addiction is an evil that creates monsters.
But he doesn't do drugs. Unlike his friend, who was with him last night. Jerry told me about him. 'He used to have a good job, house, wife and child. He lost them all because of the drugs.' Jerry is regretful at this tragedy. 'Now he's in a wet house but sometimes you'll find him sleeping down by Spar.'
His friend's eyes don't focus or meet mine when I talk briefly later with him but he's listened and seemed to take in what Sean has said as we've continued the study of David. It's been a fantastic story of flawed humanity and God who chooses to use those who aren't perfect. Amazing encouragement for all of us who acknowledge our failings only too well.