Friday, May 11, 2007

The power of just being

Churches are the catch -all for life. They hold onto the pain that is too great for the human form to maintain, and they set free the binding knots of suffering. Churches look like buildings, but if you will recall "Here is the church, here is the steeple, open the door and see all the people", then you already know that the building is a mere shell. Some bigger, maybe more elaborate than others... A shell nonetheless. When we enter the church, carrying our burdens and sorrows, our weeping wounds, the people inside the church become a part of all of that with us. It's called community. Even when we don't care to share, we do anyway because we are surrounded by the love God has given us for one another. Breaking up the big bad picture into smaller ones can sometimes help. Sometimes we notice the difference, sometimes our pain is so great we don't, but community and love do help on some level all the same whether we consciously share or not.

This is not to say that churches deal only with madness, and mahem. The church life is full of celebrations as well. Babies, weddings, all of life's celebrations are intertwined with all of life's hell- on- earth moments. Somewhere in there is a balance. Well, let's hope so.

The Pastor is usually the leader who fills us up regularly with God's words of love and sends us out into the world to share goodness in life. The Pastor is who we cry for when our world is crashing around us, when we cannot bear another moment of being human. Sometimes, our most trusted leaders and spiritual mentors offer us kind words. Sometimes we are given a tidbit from God's book to hold onto.

Most of the time, though, I have found the power of healing in Pastoral care has come from a Pastor's ability to listen. I know a few who excel at that art. They listen, intently, and look deep inside us and somehow, it helps. It helps a lot. There is something very immaculate about allowing our deepest, most thorny parts to come out, and to see them being accepted without limits. Often times, the problems have no immediate answer. Sometimes the best thing we can do or what we need to do is just be in the moment. Be in the pain; the darkness. These are the times when some Pastors come forth with their God -given gifts. Just being with us is powerful in our worst times. Just being.

So, what does one do when it is the Pastor who is carrying the burden? Yes, Pastors carry our burdens for us all of the time, but what happens when the Pastor is weighed down with his/her own humankind pain and suffering?

When a Pastor suffers, the tables are reversed. Whereas we (1 individual or family) may spend time with our honored Church-- guiding -light- minister to help us be in our own moments behind closed doors, or share our pain with our church community as we need to, or choose to, when the Pastor is the sufferer, he/she draws the attention of the entire congregation all in one fell swoop. What a quandry!!

As people, it is our nature to act. It is human nature to jump in and help solve problems for those around us in trouble or in pain. This is what we do. This is how we support each other.

Sometimes, there are no answers but time. Sometimes the best love we can give is our presence- our simply being present. Sit on our hands, and let it be known that we are here, and that we offer the comfort of simple love. Sometimes the hardest work God asks us to do, is the simplist. Today, let's remember how to listen to those around us. Let us work on being with each other in the moment. Listening with love and being-just plain being can be very powerful tools for healing.


Anonymous said...

That is so beautiful and well written. Thanks for your words.

Loonygin said...

Very thought provoking- difficult to sit and listen without adding one's own experiences.Thanks.