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Rose wrote: “That bit of distance allows us to provide a non anxious presence while the other explores the depths of their soul journeys.” So true! A patient shared that she felt healing as a she experienced a pastoral care visit because “I was able to talk about what was on my mind…” In pastoral care we provide an open, safe, listening space with time to hear what is really bothering the person. How we listen and what we listen for is what both of our books is refreshing for us.
Rose I too had a week where I fell behind. Now it is catch up time. I want to approach this course with integrity so I can be fair to the course expectations and the other participants. I might call that distance you spoke of a sacred space. I understand it to be space created by God. I picture three chairs facing each other. The person I am visiting is in one chair, I am in another, and the third chair is for God. God is invited to be present, but at the same time I can ignore or crowd out the presence of God. Often I need to talk less and listen more carefully to maintain this space which can hold attending more fully to the other person’s expressions and needs.