Skip to main content


This is the interior of one of my favourite local restaurants which has a view onto the river at Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue. It has very little to do with intervention, but I really like the blue in this photo.
Saturday was a day off and Dean I spent some of the afternoon watching a show called Intervention. They followed a girl (in her early 20's, I guess) around with a camera on the ruse that they were doing a documentary on addiction. You see her driving to a dealer with her girlfriend to buy drugs, then they both shoot up in the car and she talks you through what she is feeling. Most of the conversations with her friends are about drugs and when they can get high again. In truth, the family has contacted someone to do an intervention because this girl's life is out of control and she is making bad decisions and her family is suffering for it. The cameras are an excuse to get into her life and confront her.
When the family and friends finally start the intervention, she is very angry and won't talk to anyone or come out of her room. It was amazing to watch the man in charge of the intervention start to cut off all the avenues that she has been used to using as excuses or defense mechanisms in order to get her to face her problem. After a few letters of love and fond memories are read, she is encouraged to get help. She is given about an hour to make a decision - either leave for rehab or they call the police and report her and she is kicked out of the house. At no point is physical coercion used nor are any voices raised (except for hers). Her car is disabled so she cannot run away, but she tries several times. The intervener remains calm and focused at all points, just pointing her back to the love of her family and friends and the choice she must make. She remains beligerent for most of the program, but to my surprise, when the deadline to make a decision rolls around, she begins to weep and cry, saying, "I don't know what to do, I don't know what to do." Her boyfriend (who had heroin problems himself) packs her bag and encourages her to go. Finally, she gets into the waiting van of her own volition and heads for the rehab centre thousands of miles away. Three months later, they show her in her role as the manager of a half-way house and she looks like a different person. She has lost that wild, panicked, angry, and desperate look. She smiles and says that the intervention was the nicest thing anyone ever did for her. While she was in rehab, the girlfriend that she shot up with on camera died of an overdose.
These images have stuck with me, for I would like to have the same qualities that the intervention man had: he knew what was feeding the addiction and enabling it and he cut those avenues off so that this woman could see more clearly and face her real issues instead of hiding behind secondary ones. I want to be able to do this in my own life and develop the skill to help others see clearly where they are confused. God, help me see the places where I oppose you and myself and those who love me; and then help me let go.


Popular posts from this blog

the songs we sing

NOTE: I am going to make some pretty strong statements below, but understand that it is my way of taking an honest, hard look at my own worship experience and practice. My desire is not to be overly critical, but to open up dialogue by questioning things I have assumed were totally fine and appropriate. In other words, I am preaching to myself. Feel free to listen in.


When I am in a church meeting during the singing time, I sometimes find myself silent, unable to get the words past my lips. At times I just need a moment of stillness, time to listen, but other times, the words make me pause because I don't know that I can sing them honestly or with integrity. This is a good thing. We should never mindlessly or heartlessly sing songs just because everyone else is. We should care deeply about what we say in our sung, communal worship.

At their best, songs sung by the gathered body of Christ call to life what is already in us: the hope, the truth, the longing, t…

comedic timing

One of my favourite jokes goes like this:
Knock, knock.
Who's there?
Interrupting cow
Interrupting cow w---

Timing is important in both drama and comedy. A well-paced story draws the audience in and helps it invest in the characters, while a tale too hastily told or too long drawn out will fail to engage anyone. Surprise - something which interrupts the expected - is a creative use of timing and integral to any good story. If someone is reading a novel and everything unfolds in a predictable manner, they will probably wonder why they bothered reading the book. And so it is in life. Having life be predictable all of the time is not as calming as it sounds. We love surprises, especially good surprises like birthday parties, gifts, marriage proposals, and finding something that we thought was lost. Surprises are an important part of humour. A good joke is funny because it goes to a place you didn't expect it to go. Similarly, comedic timing allows something unexpected …

singing lessons

When I was a young child, a visiting preacher came to our country church. He brought his two daughters with him, and before he gave his sermon, they sang beautiful duets about Jesus. They had lovely voices which blended well. The preacher, meaning to impress on us their God-given musical talent, mentioned that the girls had never had any singing lessons. The congregation nodded and ooohhed in appreciation. I was puzzled. I didn't understand how not learning was a point of grace or even pride. After all, people who have natural abilities in sports, math, writing, art, or science find it extremely helpful to study under teachers who can aid them in their development and introduce them to things outside their own experience. Being self-taught (though sometimes the only option available to those with limited resources) is not a cause for pride or celebration. Why? Because that's just not how the communal, relational Creator set things up.

I have been singing since I was a child. …