Friday, July 04, 2008

Pastoral Education; or, This Program is Kicking My Ass

Rating: SL
“God has shown you, O child of earth,
what is right and true in accordance with God’s Word:
to work for justice while judging no one,
with compassion for all,
always remembering that you were born
a vessel of the Divine.”

Gracious God, Conductor of the Universe, what were You thinking???

Reflective listening is not complicated. Basically, you just repeat the last thing the other person said, or you pick out what seems to be the main thing the person said--you know, if s/he's on a talking jag, just pick one phrase--and repeat that back to him/her. It's really just intentional selective echolalia, because you don't actually have to understand what the person meant... you just reflect it back and see what comes out next. It's not rocket science.

So when someone is speaking to me of being deeply betrayed by another, of the pain and anger of being abandoned, it should not be tricky for me to repeat back the words, "and I have such hatred in my heart. I hate [xxxx]."

Yet I cannot. I cannot do it. And I tried, y'all.
Could not make the words come out of my mouth.
But how else is this person, this child of God whom I am here to serve, supposed to expel the pain? How else, except to get it out? And if I can't bear to even repeat the words, how can I possibly help him/her get it out and let it go?

Issues, much???
oh, perhaps.

Edge of the Map

Still moments, soft places.
Little instances of connection.
God of love, hear my prayer.

Infection burst and opened,
to pierce the yielding air with blood and pus
remnants of the dead and the dying
falling and rotting
in the fields of a war buried long ago

I am afraid of the thing I can’t take back.

Beauty is only skin deep
Ugly goes clear to the bone
Anger comes and goes unimpeded by bonds of affection and affinity
and grows only in the presence of love
buds and blossoms and fades and falls
making the soil richer, darker,
more life-giving

But hatred demands loyalty and longevity and commitment
Like La Cosa Nostra
or a tattoo on my
soft place
Once in, never out

Beyond here there be dragons.
Be afraid.
Be very very afraid.

yours in the struggle,


At 11:43 AM, Blogger Kirstin said...


Don't know if I can help--but I'm glad you're back to blogging.

Love you.


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