Spiritual Musings from an Educated Redneck

An inside look of the mind of Pirate Pops


In 1972 one of the all time great songs was written, recorded, and released by Bill Withers. Lean on me.

One morning around the office I was telling a couple of the male staff members of, once again, someone we have tried to help over and over was going off the wagon and blaming us for his decision. This was about the 5th or 6th time for this person. Each time it has followed a very familiar pattern. He gets ready to go back to his old way of living but before he does he finds something to accuse us of. In this way he is able to blame his relapse on us. Eventually he will get to the bottom and come back. We have always taken him back in and started all over again to help him to get his life together.

Well this being about the 5th or 6th time he had done this in the past few years I made a decision. I announced it to my staff. If he walks away this time, then everyone tell him that when he is living under a bridge, don’t come back to us. He needs to find someplace else to go for help because obviously we have not been able to help him. I said, “He has peed on me one time too many!”

For some reason that statement brought Bill Wither’s song to mind and I began to sing it,

with slight variations.

“Pee on me, when your not strong and I’ll be your friend, I’ll help you carry on…

Chorus—“You just Pee on me brother, whenever you can, we all want somebody to pee on!”

It’s so true and so sad that we all began to laugh. Not at him but at the situation and how many times we have gone to hell and back with someone and they just ended up “Peeing on us.”

All of this then brought to my memory the story of a gorilla in the zoo. In the town where I went to college they had a zoo. For a time the favorite animal in the zoo was a big gorilla. Everyone loved to visit the gorilla. At least until he developed the nasty habit, whenever the mood struck him, of peeing in his hand and throwing it on the people!

No one knew why he did it, when he was going to do it, or at whom he was going to throw it. It just became known that if you went to the gorilla cage you might get wet! People began to stay away. The zoo had to do something. Obviously, a gorilla peeing on the patrons wasn’t good for business.

They tried to give him to another zoo but no zoo wanted an ape with an attitude!

They couldn’t turn him loose into the wild because he had lived his entire life in captivity. As I remember it, they finally resorted to the final solution. They had him “put to sleep.”

The moral to the story? Pee on me once shame on you. Pee on me twice shame on me!

Pee on me over and over and eventually I have to set a boundary. Eventually you may just pee on me enough times that I figure out you don’t really want someone to “lean on” you just want someone to “pee on!”

That’s when I will finally say, “O.K. enough is enough! I’m not going to be your toilet anymore! Find someone else to pee on for a change.

Remember that folks the next time you get ready to pee on people who have sought to help you. People might just have to resort to the “final solution” and set a boundary in their lives that says, “Nobody wants to hang out with a gorilla who is going to pee on them,” I’m outta here. If you want to “lean on me” I’m here. If you want to “pee on me I’m done.”

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5 thoughts on “PEE ON ME

  1. Josie Rowley on said:

    Thank you, James for being an example of setting boundaries. I can hear the pain in your words for this person. I am one who needs to learn to set boundaries. God understands and loves me for trying to help another yet being able to say ‘no’ in love.

  2. Debra Ann Robertson on said:

    Sometimes you just have to use tough love. We finally found a support group that told us that it was time to do just that. And although it is hard to do, it does work some of the time. You have to love and care enough to do so.

  3. I have had to set the boundary a few times. Just recently I had to stop letting one particular person pee on me. It was a difficult decision. It was a really difficult decision following the loss of Rob. It is a time when I want everyone around me, but I CANNOT get peed on anymore. I will not fear for my safety or the safety of others because this particular person wants to throw pee at me. Thank you, James for making me feel better about my decision. I love you and respect your words of wisdom.

  4. I know as I write this reply that I am walking straight into a hornets nest. I’m well aware of the devotion and loyalty of ur followers, but sometimes saying the right thing isn’t well received. But it’s still the right thing… I have respected u for years and turned to u many times in need. After reading this post I am sad. So I will say the truth in love and accept the backlash that is inevitable. Ur judgement of this man pours out of this post. Simply put… This post is a way to justify u turning ur back on him. I will not insult u by quoting the bible because u r a great scholar and know far more of it then I probably ever will. But I do know that not once have I ever read the part where Jesus said “enough is enough” my understanding has always been that we are ALL sinners and that My God doesn’t see degrees of sin. No one has any idea what it is truly like to live this man’s life or the demons he faces on a daily basis. Not even another addict… Which u r not. But then to go one step further and joke about it. What if he read this post? What if this post made him finally decide he wasn’t worth saving? That he had finally done enough to no longer receive God’s love and mercy? What if u were the only glimpse of that grace and mercy he had? U don’t want him to “pee on u” but do u want him to give up on himself the way uve given up on him? His actions r sins and wrong, but ur judgement and lack of grace in this situation by posting this is as well. And to My God those r the same. Don’t give up on people and don’t make light of it. It’s beaneth u and ur a better person/pastor then that….

    • Thank you for your comment. What I did was set a healthy boundary with the young man because it needed to be done. In fact he did read the post. We have talked about it and he has confessed the distorted and twisted mindset he was in.
      He is now back in the process and is doing well. I am walking with him in that process as I always have when people are ready to honestly do the work.
      Too often Christians interpret love as something that is actually an act of enabling people in destructive attitudes and behaviors. Sometimes true love draws a line in the sand and says No More!
      In fact Jesus often did that. With the Pharisees, with those who were unwilling to take up their cross and follow Him. He said, “You cannot be my disciple.” He told the seventy he sent out, “If you go into a city and they do not receive you, shake the dust from your feet and go on.” I’ll not bore you with the biblical content but there is plenty of it there.
      When people came genuinely to Him to get help he was there to give it.
      I am now walking with this young man in his process and he is doing better than he ever has. But he knows this isn’t a game. His very survival depends upon sobriety and the transformation of the mind.
      You wrongly judged my motives to be mean and uncaring. They in fact were exactly the opposite.

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