There's a sign I've seen around that goes something like; 'I've been spat at, beat up, thrown up on, sworn at, abused & wrongly accused - infact, the only reason I stick around is to see what happens next.' It can be a bit like that at Zac's Place sometimes.
It's a been rough few weeks at the beginning of this new year for those making provision for the rough sleepers and street drinkers. A couple of isolated violent incidents make it difficult for everyone - the clients, the neighbours and the volunteers. One of the doors was smashed in in a different incident - probably an attempted opportunist break in.
Grace and forgiveness is a foundation of who we are. So is the protection of those others coming into Zac's. The hard facts of putting that into practice is not easy, especially when the voice of reason doesn't get much of a look in. The up shot is we either be walked all over, close the operation down at the expense of those who appreciate all the help that is given or we attempt to place those causing the problems on a ban for a set period of time. We've opted for the latter. How that will be received remains to be seen.
The reality is that the destructive pattern of behaviour fuelled by alcohol and drug abuse, brought on initially by a myriad of circumstances, has a very ugly face - finding the balence in a Jesus like response is often a struggle. No one more than he knows what it is to walk amid chaos into the middle ground of everyday life.