Saturday, June 17, 2006

One of the most inconvenient truths I struggle with is that God created each of us with a free will. He equipped us with intelligence, emotions, and spiritual longing. Each personality is unique, no two people have exactly the same perspective, experience or desires. Making room in my life for this fundamental truth is challenging. How much easier life would be if everybody else could see what I see the way I see it, and hear what I hear the way I hear it, and understand what I understand the way I understand it. But nobody does. And that's ok. I thank God for the richness of human experience and how it affects me and the people around me.

With that said, I understand the frustration of those who are so entrenched in their positions that change is not possible. Empathy is a characteristic of INFP's, such as myself, and can sometimes work to our detriment. We are sensitive to others' pain, restlessness or general discomfort and strive to find happiness, balance and wholeness for ourselves in order to help others find joy, satisfaction and plenitude. (from In other words, we want everybody to be happy.

Not everybody at GC06 is happy, I feel much pain coming from it. After having spent a day of reading blogs and other reports, I gather that the gloves are about to come off, and some people will be leaving our Communion with broken hearts. I admire the fact that so many have stayed this long. There's been serious dissatisfaction in some quarters for years.

At the same time, I realize that we are right where we need to be. Rather than growing into mega-churches like some sister denominations have, we are being whittled down to serve those whose needs are not being met. We have been uniquely equipped to do that.

I don't think GC03 has an apology to make that will really satisfy anybody. They did what the Holy Spirit led them to do. There is no need to apologize. Those who were offended need to take it up with their Higher Power. Ask God why He led them to do what they did. Obviously, we all have a lot to learn.

Empathizing with the pain of those who are leaving is possible, in part, due to the pain I felt in leaving the church of my youth. But God continued to bless me and He will bless them, too.

May the Peace of the Lord be always with you, and you, and you.


Zoilus said...

Empathy is different than submission (that whole equating niceness with weakness thing); I think people expect empathetic people to just roll over, but I always just refuse. Does that make me entrenched?

C. J. Garrett said...

Being empathetic does not make one weak, just sensitive to the needs of others. By entrenched I mean not likely to even consider the validity of another's viewpoint. An empathetic person does not become a doormat. They can be true to themselves while affirming to their opponent at the same time. It ain't easy.