July 10, 2009
Only that day dawns to which we are awake. Henry David Thoreau
On my drive to work today, I listened to Krista Tippett's interview with author John Kabat-Zinn in the show Speaking of Faith. Tippett explores with the author how mindfulness is a way of life. He shares how it is immediately relevant for the "ordinary and extreme stresses of our time - from economic peril, to parenting, to life in a digital age."
The author summarizes his perspective in the quote from Thoreau at the end of his book "Coming to our Senses."
Today's conference on listening skills for pastoral care givers awakened me to my own pre-suppositions and pre-judices. How can I engage without simply affirming their positions as "right" (Hey, I think that, too!) or dismissing their way of thinking about God as "universal" (Oh, everyone thinks that) - but more. Each individual has a uniqueness that form an "embedded" theology that will be drawn upon in a health crisis.
This afternoon, I realized in a one-on-one with a patient facing a health care crisis that his "theology" was uniquely formed by his race, gender, and social context. With heightened sensitivity to NOT allowing my embedded theology drive the conversation, I found myself paralyzed and without speech. I don't think that was the expected result for the conference, but I was awake to the day!
To what are you awake in this moment?