Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Just Like Dave

Sometimes Dave has trouble sleeping. So do I. Dave loves coffee. Yup. Me too. He spends the majority of his waking hours in coffee shoppes. Almost as much time as I do. We met in one. Dave's first love, his first broken heart was a Louisiana girl. Me too, me too. Dave just wants to feel normal, wants to be the master of his own destiny. I think we all can relate. Dave hurts, he grieves, he longs for simpler, happier times. Dave is perfectly human in that respect. 

Dave lives in Hattiesburg, MS twenty miles south of where he was born, where he accepted Jesus, was baptized, went to college, fell in love, and fell apart. He talks about the Easter when he lost himself. He's been looking for himself ever since, mostly through the cloudy haze of medication.

I hadn't seen Dave for almost four months. I'd been in Haiti and he in Hattiesburg. When we finally crossed paths at a Starbucks he had lost 45 pounds. His eyes were sunken in a bit but he was so glad to see me and starved for conversation. After a bit I finally got him to tell me how long it had been since he'd eaten. Way too long. He'd had a couple checks stolen and his account cleared out. It's hard to really say but I think he was more embarrassed than mad. We walked next door to a sub shop and Dave devoured "the best sandwich of my life".

Dave is diagnosed schizophrenic and bi-polar. He is on three medications. These are things Dave has told me. He explains what his pills do. Blue ones to help him sleep. Two blue ones and he can sleep all night. The larger white ones are his anti-psychotics. The new, small white ones help him not get trapped in the past. They keep him looking, going forward. He must not be taking those because for three days now he has talked mostly of his past. He speaks of his parent's deaths. The blue and white dress his mother was buried in. "Blue and white dress, blue and white pills." The conversations, the connections made in Dave's mind sometimes get loud enough to be heard. 

Dave has six toes on each foot. I don't. He likes to paint his twelve toenails and his fingernails too. I've not tried that, yet. Dave has an imaginary son. My River Moses is unbelievable but very real. The more time I spend with Dave the more I realize how much our differences are superficial, how we really are all the same. Different degrees of broken, but all wonderfully and fearfully made in our Father's image. And I realize even more, how desperately I need Jesus to keep my inner gravity holding, keep all my pieces from breaking up, spinning hopelessly, recklessly apart. 

Just like Dave.


  1. "And I realize even more, how desperately I need Jesus to keep my inner gravity holding, keep all my pieces from breaking up, spinning hopelessly, recklessly apart."


  2. Beautiful. Love this! I've been so out of the blogging world and today as I stumbled back in, this is a beautiful story to read. Hope you are doing well, Mark!

  3. 2018...I love this story about Dave. I've learned, too, that we all are the same. We have different levels of glue that keep our pieces connected. Dave, as you described, knows when he lost some of his pieces and continues to look for them. All of us fall sometimes and some of our pieces get disordered and even then it's difficult to fully assess an important lesson we may be working on. That should remind us how bewildered a brother can feel who has lost pieces of himself. An extended hand, a smile...a cup of coffee...works wonders to stabilize a moment in time, a gift of recognition.