Good morning Rick, Jennifer, and Mike.
The sun came up again today. My pumpkin seeds are growing nicely.
I didn’t see thread three yesterday so I put my first reflection at the end of thread two. I don’t want to copy and paste it, so if you wouldn’t mind going there to read it I’d appreciate it.
Professor Swinton had some interesting ideas.
Spirituality again is defined as meaning purpose value hope. The soul ish part of Humans that is different form the animals and plants. We are created in the image of God. We are created to be in relationship, to love and be loved, to care for and to listen to one another.
I like what he said about religious people do better in recovery than non religious people. I believe that is because of the hope that is often inherent in having a faith.
I am happier as a person of faith than I was when I didn’t have faith. I see it in the nursing home. Obviously it is an over simplification. Professor Swinton refers to research so there must be something to it. But then he foes into saying that prosilytizing is not good. So here is my soap box. If it is true that people tend to do better if they are religious and I would add spiritual and/or also in community I find it troublesome that I as a care giver can’t offer them something that might help them beyond just listening to them. It is sort of like finding a person who is lost in the woods. I hear about how they came to be lost in the woods. I affirm their story with a good deal of reflective listening. I ask them what options they have considered about finding their way out of the woods, none of which have worked. I know how to get out of the woods, but can’t offer it to them as I don’t want to offend them. Or I can offer a few options to see f they are open to this. If they choose not to accept then that is there right, but to just affirm their lostness seems wrong. I’m not saying I want to ram Jesus at them, but if someone is hurting and searching and doesn’t know about other options, it seems my best healing would be to help them explore their options including my own which I know the best and worksfor some people.
Also, there is the subtle undertone in our chaplaincy that proselytizes the no proselytizing element. I know I may be coming across as angry and maybe I am, but I feel this is probably the only place I can express these things to people who may get it even if you don’t agree with me.
Professor Swinton’s thoughts on pain are also interesting. it is part of the Hospice philosophy that pain reduction opens up people’s hearts and minds to focus on the emotional social and spiritual part of themselves. It all overlaps. But God also uses pain. I think of the Psalms and C.S. Lewis’ thought that God shouts to us in our pain.
I love the idea of chaplain listeners. The Dr. listens to the heart while the chaplain listens the heart of the soul.