"Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now." Matthew 6:34a The Message
I have been a therapist for a fair amount of time now. I understand pretty well what makes people tick, how systems work, all that good stuff. But in the past I have noted with some amusement (I may as well be amused!) a rather strange thing about all this accumulated wisdom and knowledge when it comes to my dealings with my church folks. It seems to flee my head and leave me feeling like a rank amateur in dealing with all the interpersonal kerfuffles that arise in the course of church life. There are of course some reasons this happens. Stress, performance anxiety, all the usual suspects. And there was one big one that has blessedly gone away. Since that wonderful night when the introjected critical voice of G, the person who spiritually abused me, was finally silenced for what really does seem to be the last time, I have been able to function a whole lot better in these kind of tense moments. I can deal with this person in this moment without being hurled back into being fifteen again. Staying in the present and dealing only with this one thing surely makes things a lot simpler!
I had that tough conversation. On the one hand, it left me sad about some things. And it makes me wonder... Does God feel this sadness when we are less than our best, when we miss with each other? Does God regret our free will when we abuse it? On the other hand, it was a kind of measure for me of some pretty significant changes in the way I am doing things. And I found myself thinking about God in that, too. Is God celebrating these changes with me? I believe so. I know that on the night that my young self stood and walked from those school stairs and left her abuser behind, she did not walk alone. And I know the one who walked with her walked in joy. It's that wing again. I was under that wing today in that whole conversation. And I was acutely aware of it. It kept me safe and it kept me focused on doing this with integrity and honesty, to try to hold boundaries but also bring peace. Watching God watching me....it's a good thing.