Most popular posts of 2015 – #12 – Hope is created in community

hopeAcross the disciplines, we see a movement away from individually focused understandings of hope to more communally and relationally dependent models. Many focus on connectedness as a central aspect of hope. This takes the form of friendship, solidarity, and bearing witness as central relational aspects of hope. Within the recovery model and other models of care, the relationship with caregivers is central for engendering hope. Caregivers are often required to carry hope on behalf of those for whom they care. Hope exists as an interpersonal possibility reflecting the extent to which humans are made for relationship, for love. When we are living in relationships of love, hope is present. Isolation, lack of belonging, and lack of connectedness reflect that which distances from hope. The experience of connection with another, even in the midst of pain, opens up hope’s possibility. . . . Hope is created in community.

Pamela McCarroll

Faith is given in sufficient quantities to communities

charles outreach accept

I recently listened to an interview with Nadia Bolz-Weber. There were a lot of keepers in the interview (even for a non-believer). She’s described as a recovering drug addict. Her recovery shines through in this, “fake it till you make it” discussion:

Ms. Tippett: So a sermon of yours I wish I could have heard is “Loving Our Enemies Even If We Don’t Mean It.”

(laughter)

Ms. Nadia Bolz-Weber: Yeah, I think meaning it is overrated. I mean, I think …

Ms. Tippett: I think this is profound. I really do.

Ms. Nadia Bolz-Weber: No, I’m serious. Like, my gosh, if God’s going to wait till I mean it, that’s going to be a while, right? So I think that the key is praying for them, not like feeling warm feelings towards people who’ve hurt you or towards your enemy. I don’t think it’s about feelings. I think it’s about an action.

That was kind of neat, but what she said next really leapt out to me. [emphasis mine]

…I think that’s what the sort of love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you means. I will actually ask other people to do it for me sometimes, like it doesn’t always have to be us. And so it’s like this thing like I don’t think faith is given in sufficient quantity to individuals necessarily. I think it’s given in sufficient quantity to communities.

Wow. It reminds me of my persistent despair many months into my recovery and Dave H. telling me, “It’s okay if you don’t believe it’s going to get better, just believe that I believe it’s going to get better for you.”


This reminds me of an aha moment I had when listening to Bill White describe the recovery coaches of Project SAFE. I remember listening to him and thinking of the clients in those stories as having no protective factors–none!–only risk factors. He went on to describe the assertive support and engagement that these workers provided. I realized that these workers were becoming and creating protective factors in the lives of these women.

It also reminds me something my friend Ben often says, “Too often I fail to notice how much of the time I’m carried by others.”

What a gift it is for our profession to have access to a recovering community that, a group and one-to-one level, provides so much hope, faith and tangible support.

Standing in awe, rather than judgment

awe

. . . the measure of our compassion lies not in our service of those on the margins but in our willingness to see ourselves in kinship. And so that means the decided movement towards awe and giant steps away from judgment.

So how can we seek really a compassion that can stand in awe at what people have to carry rather than stand in judgment at how they carry it? And I think that’s sort of the key here. That’s the place of health in any community, forget Christian community. In any community, that’s how you know that you’re healthy.

Greg Boyle

Hope is created in community

hopeAcross the disciplines, we see a movement away from individually focused understandings of hope to more communally and relationally dependent models. Many focus on connectedness as a central aspect of hope. This takes the form of friendship, solidarity, and bearing witness as central relational aspects of hope. Within the recovery model and other models of care, the relationship with caregivers is central for engendering hope. Caregivers are often required to carry hope on behalf of those for whom they care. Hope exists as an interpersonal possibility reflecting the extent to which humans are made for relationship, for love. When we are living in relationships of love, hope is present. Isolation, lack of belonging, and lack of connectedness reflect that which distances from hope. The experience of connection with another, even in the midst of pain, opens up hope’s possibility. . . . Hope is created in community.

Pamela McCarroll

Sentences to ponder

photo credit: sarcasmo

Does this speak to the power of one addict talking with another?

If we’re going to find our way back to each other, we have to understand and know empathy, because empathy’s the antidote to shame. If you put shame in a Petri dish, it needs three things to grow exponentially: secrecy, silence and judgment. If you put the same amount of shame in a Petri dish and douse it with empathy, it can’t survive. The two most powerful words when we’re in struggle: me too.

Brene Brown