All Courses Forums Course Discussion Forums Creating a Caring Presence Week Two Reflection : Primer Chapter 2

4 replies, 4 voices Last updated by Rose McKeown 2 years, 8 months ago
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    • #4221

      Rose McKeown

      Week Two Reflection – Rose
      Primer Chapter 2
      Page 25: “Trust and safety issues are crucial in pastoral care, particularly for those who are in minority or devalued positions in our society….” Every once in awhile we will have a Spanish speaking person come to our ER. They are scared and frightened in this unknown environment. Since I am bi-lingual, I am often called to be with these patients and their families. You can see their whole person relax when someone can speak their language. Trust and safety are built and then the whole team can minister to them.

      Page 27; The Grammar of Pastoral Care- very much how we enter prayer…entering a holy space and waiting on the Spirit to lead and guide.
      The case study- how sensitive was the student pastor to his late night visitor. The question that we hear so often “Why does a loving God allow so much suffering in the world. Why doesn’t he intervene?” And that incarnational lesson taught by his five yr. old son. How the Holy Spirit worked in that situation. When I am asked that question by a patient or family, I just point to the crucifix that is hanging in the corner…a prism. We don’t know why Jesus, who was all love, had to suffer, be rejected, put to death. In theological terms it is called the Paschal Mystery. Jesus suffered but He did not explain why we have to suffer. Suffering is part of our human journey. God suffers with us. We are not alone in our suffering. Through suffering we grow and are transformed if we let God work in us through the people we meet along the way. And, beyond Good Friday is Easter Sunday but Good Friday can last a long time.
      I appreciated much the image of the Good Shepherd who walks along side us so that we in turn can walk along side others.

      P. 35-Can you share an instance when the love of Christ was communicated to you without words.
      Yes, especially at the death of my mom three yrs ago.. My twin sister and I were both there together along with two of my nieces. We had been keeping vigil at mom’s bedside and were there when she took her last breadth. All of us with our own thoughts, all of us grateful that we were there together in that graced moment. No words, just arms wrapped around each other. Loving embraces…the love mom left with us….Christ’s love made visible in mom and in each one of us
      I experience this also when I sit in vigil with a family whose loved one is dying. Often the vigil goes on for several nights and all take turns being there. As we sit, they share stories about their loved one. Laughter and tears and gratitude. When the moment of death comes, often there are no words. We pause in silence before the mystery of life and death. “A silence too deep for words” – page 26

    • #4237

      Wally Plock


      Again thank you for your self observations and how your experience with silence at your mom’s death prepares you to help others at the time of death.  “Jesus wept,” a summary that our life involves suffering, grief and meaningful attachments.

      Accept the other person as He of She is. p. 30 (chapter 2, Primer, The Grammar of Care.) This has been the hardest yet most freeing element of my CPE interfaith education.  As a born again Christian, part of my calling is to make disciples.  As a chaplain, my role is to accept unconditionally and not proselytize.  Once I let go of having to fit people into a prearranged box and let them just be who they are and listen to their story and come along side them I found I was much more compassionate and I think I heard more of people’s inner pain, struggles and occasionally joy.  It is not that I don’t desire to have people know Jesus the way I know him, but it is more being comfortable knowing that He knows them completely and loves them completely and walks at their pace.  He speaks their language and I love the synchronistic moments when people can recognize God is speaking to them.

      This often takes place in the subtext.

      “It is listening to others’ words, hearing between the lines, and being open to both a spoken text and unspoken subtext. It involves reading between the lines.” p. 31.

    • #4243

      Mary M. Wrye

      Wally, isn’t it freeing to know that we don’t have to do it all… that we can plant a seed, do the watering or reap the harvest but we don’t have to do everything. We use the gifts God gave us and do our part, trusting God to complete the work God started. It is incredible when we get to hear someone’s story. I often tell folks that it is holy ground to hear someone’s story and the only way I get to stand on someone else’s holy ground is by invitation. It is an honor when I get invited onto someone’s holy ground. And a lot of time – that’s all we need to do for the healing to begin.

    • #4246

      Yes, Rose, the student pastor example was so helpful–and challenging.  I’m afraid I may have been rushed in that situation–so I was grateful for the student pastor’s wisdom.


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