An Open Letter to Rob Deckert

Dear Rob,

Once upon a time I was really good with words. I could clearly articulate my feelings and communicate with relative transparency. For the past two years, however, this has been a struggle for me. I’ve been meaning to write for quite some time, and struggled to find the words that could capitulate my gratefulness to God for your voice in my life.
I was referred to Sacred Space Counseling through a friend. I needed to find a safe place to think out loud. I was craving a trusted voice to help guide me along the treacherous path toward inner healing. The first time we met, I noticed the tattoo on your wrist: “remember“; I knew I had found a wounded healer in your company.
You have seen me at my best; an optimistic warrior who was committed to absolute Truth and unwavering confidence in the practical implications of the Resurrection. You have listened to my promises and helped me to create a treatment plan that would include the necessary boundaries of protection from the enemy within.
And you have seen me at my worst; a borderline schizophrenic with a mild case of oppositional defiant disorder. There have been counseling sessions where I would cross my arms and hope to die. I would give you one-word answers (a miracle for a DePoy), and admit that you had been added to my list of people to whom I would not speak if we should ever cross paths at the local grocery store. You have seen me angry. Stone.Cold.Rage. You have been the catalyst for many a migraine.
And still you believed in me. You never stopped listening. You continued to push me forward – to that Great Physician who was insisting on a heart transplant. You did not give up on me. You volunteered to meet me, at my convenience on your time. You opened your heart to me. The line has blurred between professional counselor, and personal confidant. You became one of my truest friends.
Thank you, Rob. Although I have moved far away, and we aren’t able to meet for usual therapy sessions, I have been journaling in remembrance of the things you taught me:
1) Thank God for the thorns that keep us humble. (“Think of what an ass you would be, if you did not have these areas of personal weakness.”
2) God is unconditional love. (One time you corrected my poor theological assumptions that God was a cosmic disciplinarian who was eager to punish me. You said, sarcastically, “Yeah, ‘cuz that’s how God works!”)
3) Invest in Ecclesiastical Koinonia. (The power of a community of love, held together by a core conviction of doing life together, until death shall we part).
I will never forget you, and the life-giving counsel you have shared with me. I am a better man because of your influence, and I often wonder if I would still be alive had it not been for your intervention. Thank you for providing a space sacred enough to hold in tension the doubt and the faith that are so intricately connected.

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