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Sunday, November 1, 2015

Those Who Share, Dare, and Those Who Care, Bear

LIFTING others aloft before the Lord is a privilege, but more fundamentally it requires faith and wisdom beyond selflessness. Whilst we hold people aloft, by prayer, petition, intercession, and peer or professional support, we may occasionally or often be tempted to take our eyes off our own issues — those things we’re responsible for — our self-care and the care God has anointed us for, e.g. family. If we’re humble we might pray that someone else might stand in the gap for us.
Plainly, everyone needs care. But let’s presume, for the purposes of this article our self-care and family-care roles are sorted, well-structured and satisfactory.
This article can be summarised thus. The carer bears. The sharer dares.
Know that the one who cares,
Listens patiently and bears,
And the one who shares,
Feels love from the one who cares.
Is there anything more sacredly valuable in life — God’s Spirit incarnate as if Jesus living and breathing there in the midst — than someone who’s willing to patiently listen and bear another’s burden? The one who cares, bears. They bear much. Because they can. For no reward. And the result is the one who shares, who feels the carer’s bearing of their struggle (caring) in their sharing, feels love, and they receive God’s healing for that moment.
The one who shares,
Is the one who dares,
Theirs is the healing,
Healing soul’s feeling.
The one who shares, must, of course, dare. They must risk their emotional material.
None of us can approach God’s healing Presence without being vulnerable; throwing caution to the wind. The trouble is, when we share we are tempted to share our complaints and misery, but we often don’t risk enough to expose the truths of our inadequacies. We find it easier to expose our perceptions of others’ inadequacies. This renders care useless as far as healing’s concerned.
The adept carer uses counselling techniques to skilfully enquire into the felt states of the person they care for. They encourage daring on the part of the person they’re caring for. Where daring actually occurs real therapy takes place through transformative access to primary (core) emotions (e.g. the sorrow beyond anger; the fear beyond bargaining; the pride beyond denial).
Know that the one who shares,
Trusts the one who cares,
And the one who cares,
Encourages the one who shares.
Daring is not simply boldness for brashness’s sake, it’s a task of trust — one of life’s most courageous and sacred tasks. This is something that a carer feels incredibly honoured in. There are fewer more privileged places in the ministry of caring relationships than when someone offers to trust us with their visceral material. The carer encourages the sharer into the trust of safety — to expose core vulnerabilities. This is sacred work and the carer must prove trustworthy.
What’s involved is a golden transaction between the sharer and the carer, and, done well, transformation takes place, between them, and in each of them.
Don’t forget these two interdependent truths:
Those who share, dare, and those who care, bear.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.

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