Question 1: Who has made the most significant impact on your life?
For me, and I think for most people, it would generally be a parent. Mum and Dad generally have the most influence over our lives, good, bad or indifferent, they significantly shape who we become. Even if don’t know our biological parents, such as through adoption, this not being known will deeply shape us.
Putting the parents to one side, the next group of significant people would most likely be those whom you felt safe enough to be truly honest, open and vulnerable with. It might be a friend, a work colleague, a spouse.
You gave them the gift of in–to-me-see and they didn’t abuse it. They may have given you the gift of in-to-me-see and allowed you to explore them at a soul level.
Question 2: Did these truly significant people treat you as a problem to be solved or as person to be known?
I read this dialogue recently in a wonderful online course called Soul Care.
Something I have observed a thousand times is that when people tell me that they feel reluctant to make known a concern to somebody, [I have asked] who else have they shared this with, and they said, “Well, nobody.” And when I ask, “Well, why not? You have friends. You are in a small group. You have a pastor. You have a spouse. You have other people that are close to you. You’ve not made known this difficulty to anybody? Tell me, why not?”
And the answer I so often get is, “When I share my burden with somebody, all they want to do is fix me. They want to change me.”
I wonder if my anorexic client years ago knew that I had nothing in my mind, but finding someway to get her to eat more. I am going to change that girl; I am going to see to it she is different.
What happens in you when you know that my central agenda is seeing to it that you are different? People have said to me many, many times is, “I don’t feel safe, because the people that I envision myself sharing with don‘t want to join me on the journey. They want to fix me so they can become more comfortable.” Larry Crabb
I want somebody to be with me, as opposed to somebody imposing a solution on my life.
Do this, do that, stop doing this or that, work and try harder.
One of the struggles I have in providing Soul Talk are the expectations of others upon me. They generally come with a desire to be quick fixed with a magic wand.
I have given up on looking for that flimsy piece of foolishness as I don’t believe there is one to meet the deepest of Soul issues.
I give what I can, I join with them on their journey as best I am able within the limits of what I have to give.
It is never enough, so an Emmaus road journey must nurtured. One where Jesus joins us on the journey and warms both of us.
“Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” Luke 24:32
Question to consider: Do you want to solve peoples problems for your own personal comfort or do you join with them on a journey and see both hearts warmed? Leave some comments below.
Image: Stephan Geyer Creative Commons Flickr