Wednesday, November 10, 2004

The heart of/is the matter

Symptoms--my last post was about me recooping from an illness, from which I am still trying to run free of, but at this point I am still reduced to hacking like an old man. All I'm lacking is a nice and shiny spitoon and it'd be a little more bearable. I remember last year I was sick for about 2 months. And then a few months before that my allergies were terrorized by the fall pollen of NoCal. I learned a lesson, even though my counseling professor, Dr. Thom, used to say in class, "Drugs are rugs--they cover but don't cure." I really didn't care about that pithy little piece of wisdom literature. The symptoms of sniffing, blowing and sneezing were so bad that my nose was raw, my side ached and my throat was so sore. I decided to go to the grocer and get some kind of allergy medicine. Yes, the next day I was a new man, barring the cloudiness of my thinking and the sluggishness of my actions. I knew that sneezing was not the problem; it was a symptom. The problem was the layers (literally) of yellow pollen that draped the parking lot booth I was working at during that time.

Perhaps this doesn't translate as well as I hoped, but I'd like to write and hear what you think. A few days ago after "church" (or the service formally known as "church") a friend came up to me and spoke with my candidly about how their spouse was doing. Their spouse was hesitant to come to church because of certain feelings of rejection because of some current happenings within their particular area of ministry. Their spouse was feeling quite misunderstood and was also feeling like they were not welcomed. Their spouse had also met with the people involved and the persons who could right the situation.

My friend was very honest and that is what I really appreciate about this friend. At one point though my friend said, "I'm sure it's nothing and that it's over-reacting." I said, "Let's talk about this some more."

Basically I felt compelled to discuss with my friend that the problem was not the feelings of their spouse--that was merely a symptom. When people within our lives tell us certain things it actually tells us that something is wrong, that something needs to be corrected. In church I have witnessed differing responses to a person sharing their feelings. Usually it is silence or no reply and the desire to "just see it go away." I have also seen the issue ridiculed as "immature." However, I have also seen this issue be recognized, evaluated and appreciated. It could be a multi-pronged problem that is at hand: perhaps there is something with the system that needs to be fixed (not just tinkered with); perhaps the person who is coming forward has some issues of hurt. Either way it is okay, all we have to do is simply acknowledge and walk the road of correction together.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

There is a season

Ah, back at the controls. I've been under the weather for several days but seem to be fairing a bit better. With a cough like this who needs cigarettes?

About ten or so days ago I attended a conference on how to lead a group through change. I spent several days trying to pack it down to a brief summary. I realize that that is one of my weak points (summarizing), so here is my synopsis:

Leading a group through change is about making sure that everyone has the same understanding about the vocabulary being used. This is called "mental models." I say, "What we really need is leadership that is accountable." And you and I may have different opinions of what leadership is or constitutes and we may also have differing thoughts about the essence of accountability. We also run across this with music that we use for worship, even "worship" itself. Do we really need music to worship? Hmm.

Further, it is about being pliable and being considerate and thoughtful about the learning process of yourself and others. What? Others don't look at the world the same way I do? The Presidential elections proves that 32 million others (approximately) see things differently, no matter who we voted for.

Vulnerability: we need to provide an emotionally safe atmosphere for everyone.

Openness to change: in our debriefing time a co-attender said, "What I've come to realize is that I'm going to have to get used to change, rapid change for the rest of my life." 'Tis true.

That's that for now. I hope to get back into the swing of thangs soon with this.....

Peace be unto you, Jason