A Gang of Seven

 Pointing the Way


 Two Movements

 Three Sacraments

 Facets of Vital Engagement

 Vital Engagement:
            Life Blood of Trust

 Steps Towards Trust

 Missed Steps

 Unseen Options  

 Justice in Relationships


Russ Parker, MDiv, DDiv
Anglican Priest

Biography                   Touchstones               Defining Moments             Publications

Defining Moments

I remember the first time I ever told an adult how unsafe I found living around my father. I was ten years old and had written a short article for a school newsletter called A Castaway. I imagined I was the marooned Ben Gunn on my Treasure Island and that after 20 years of isolation, I saw a boat on the horizon and that it was coming to my shore. Should I run out on the beach and madly welcome my rescuers or should I stay and hide in the bushes until I knew it was safe.

My former teacher, Mr. Cook, couldn’t believe that I had thought of this angle to the story by myself and wanted from whom or where I had borrowed it. I finally told him that I imagined what it was like in my home when we all waited for my father to come home from the pub. He was usually drunk and therefore could be one of two people. Father Christmas and all jolly and stupid or angry and violent in which case he lashed out at all of us but my mother in particular.

Mr. Cook’s reaction was to slap me over the head and called me a “smart arse” as he thought I was making a joke of him. But I wasn’t. Since that very day, I have wanted to write and tell my story and it has only been in the last year that I have done so. However, the reason behind this long delay in writing is that I needed to know myself better and to know my father as a person. I failed to do this because I demonised him as the bad guy in my home and it was not until I learned just how much a victim he was that I was healed enough to love him in his own right and so bring him justice when I wrote my story.