Well, was this deep enough for me? Felt like I was treading water with this piece. Suffice it to say that the following sentences pretty much sum up where I am and how I’m feeling in pastoral ministry right now.
“…(I have) become painfully aware of the fact that, resulting from the spiritual and theological notion of calling and vocation, directed by the notion of ‘costly grace’ (Bonhoeffer), (I) cannot merely quit and give up.” If it (compassion fatigue), as Louw posits, is a “by-product of failure to see the big picture,” then I would offer that it is also compounded by one’s ABILITY to see the big picture and realize that he/she can do nothing to change the scene – for the healing or wholeness, betterment or wellness for another person.
Sometimes, actually more times lately, it seems I’m bleeding my feelings. Just as you can put a bandaid on a flesh wound, we learn to ‘bind up’ our spiritual and emotional wounds in order to present ourselves as strong enough, “whole” enough to “…grieve with those who grieve, weep with those who weep,” etc.
Wow Lisa. Very insightful. I perceive there is more behind these thought to flesh out. Only God can work all things together for tbe good of those who love him and keep his commandments. Our perception is not God’ s perception. When ours begins to align with his then we see the wounds in a different light and can begin to let go and offer our wounds to God. Compassion fatigue and burnout are no different.