Thursday, May 04, 2006

Thy Rod And Thy Cat

Pastoral crises come in waves.

I'm getting a lot better at riding the waves.

It's not a thicker skin, exactly, it's a kind of protective shield that seems to come over me as I'm hearing another revelation of terrible suffering or attending to the sick or dying (or both). In the last 24 hours I've spent, by a quick count on my fingers, nine full hours in a chair being with suffering people. In my office. In a nursing home. On the phone. In someone's home.

I have a mantra. It's called the 23rd Psalm. It helps me more than anything else to enter into the truth that God is holding this, and I don't have to. The Lord is my shepherd. Thy rod and they cat, they comfort me.

(I know it's not reverent. It just happens to be true).


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