Helping vs Hurting
TAKE 2 minutes FOR TRAINING
As a massage therapist, I am frequently called to the palliative care unit. I enter the room and I am fully aware of the fact that this individual is on the pathway towards the end of life. As a believer in Jesus, I have an urgency to share the gospel with them and to hear the patient make a clear confession of faith.
But in their place of total vulnerability would it be right for me, coming from a healthy power position, to preach a hellfire and brimstone message to them? What would my Jesus do? Would He gently whisper words, affirming how much they are treasured by God? Would He sing to them? Wouldn’t He pray? And how would He pray?
In many of the ministries that are represented here today, there is an unequal balance of power. Inner cities and suburbs; imprisonment and freedom; addiction and abstinence; new immigrants and Canadian born; geriatrics and health; widowed and married. It is essential that we step back and recognize where the power over another could occur, and be sensitive to our use of power.
As we acknowledge the suffering of another person, it is important to stay in the moment without putting increased emphasis on the past or on the future. If we don’t, we actually risk increasing the person’s pain.
Triggers from the past that could increase suffering could be going down a path that said, “Is there something I could have or should have done?”
If we look towards the uncertainty of the future, there are practical questions like, “How are you going to pay the mortgage?”
We would never consciously cause harm to another but there are ways that we increase suffering by the questions that we ask and by the way we lead the conversation. It is helpful to have thought through, and be prepared with, questions and responses to difficult interactions.
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TRAINER: Trisha Hope
SOURCE: Volunteer Training-EDM (2019 03)
POSTED: May 2019
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