Rob Ford is in the news today. His drunken, profane performance at an Etobicoke restaurant resulted in renewed head shaking and tongue clucking by exasperated Toronto city counselors (for turning municipal politics into a circus), grateful reporters (for making their jobs so easy) and horrified citizens (for lowering Toronto’s reputation on the world’s stage).
Justin Bieber is also in the news today. His drag racing on the streets of Miami while under the influence of some substance or another resulted in his arrest. As he detoxifies in the detention centre, his fans, his friends and his family must be aghast at a young life seemingly careening from one catastrophe to another.
Ford and Bieber. Two Ontario boys lots of people are talking about. One born into a wealthy Toronto household headed by politically connected parents. The other, the son of a single mother; a kid who busked on the streets of Stratford until discovered on a Youtube video. Two big boys, two rich boys, two tormented boys.
What do Ford and Bieber need? My answer would include: A mentor who can guide them toward integrity and wholeness. A guide who can help them see the things in life that are really important and a way to balance opportunities and responsibilities. A friend with no-nonsense wisdom and genuine compassion.
I don’t know how Mayor Ford and young Mr. Bieber would describe their faith and spiritual journey. My guess is that there is room for growth. If you run across either of them, please let him know that if he’d drop in at Bethel Church, we’d be happy to walk alongside him for a while.
Should that happen, both Rob and Justin could expect to be in the news for much more positive reasons. I think they would appreciate that. As would we all.