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As we journey with others in suffering there are five things I’d like to highlight.
As we go to our places of influence, do we see others as projects? As assignments to be completed?
Secondly, as we invite, listen, and witness stories, we are powerfully validating the person’s experience. Have you ever been sharing something with someone that was heavy on your heart and you look up at that person and they’re watching something that’s going on over your shoulder? How does that make you feel? You have allowed yourself to be vulnerable. The sense is that there’s something more important than what you are saying. They really don’t care that you may be bleeding emotionally. Please choose to be present.
Thirdly, I’d like to offer a phrase that was taught to me during my chaplaincy internship at Alberta Hospital: Need to Know – Want to Tell. As we converse with people the discussion may trigger something that has happened in your life or information that you want to share, but is it relevant or is it a distraction?
For example, a woman may be opening to a deeper conversation by telling you that, in her childhood, she grew up in the Sherbrook neighbourhood and you might want to interject that you grew up in Westmount, the neighbourin community. And then we’re on to Westmount Shopping Centre and Woodward’s and $1.49 days.
Our need to add something to the conversation took it in a totally different direction and recovery to the original train of thought may never happen. Or perhaps we hold so tightly to a thought until we can share it that we risk losing anything the other person is saying. Sometimes by offering a comment, we stall or misdirect the topic towards ourselves. Stop and ask yourself, “Do they really need to know this or is it something that I just want to tell?”
It is far more important to be watching and listening for how the Holy Spirit has already been imprinting Himself on their lives and to respond to His direction.
Watch the full session below: How God Can Use Us In the Midst Of Suffering
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TRAINER: Trisha Hope
SOURCE: Volunteer Training – EDM (2019-03)
POSTED: Apr 2019
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