There’s a learning curve in every are of life. Family. Occupation. Marriage. Ministry.
I was recently soberly confronted with a lesson I have yet to learn. Simply put, in the pastoral life – one knows a lot about people and their lives and struggles and needs. I understand the reality to put a ‘hedge’ around my family so that I can go home at night and play with 3 kids (or go home with an honest intentionality to deal with my own life and struggles and needs). I have been taught to distance myself, in a sense, from what I know about people so that I don’t absorb what they know in life as my own life. I understand that.
BUT – I am learning that it is one thing to KNOW life-facts about hurting people… it is another thing altogether to break with them. To hurt with them. To fully empathize. I have often thought I was doing that… but maybe (today atleast) I have been simply knowing about people’s lives – then speaking the gospel into it – then knowing that I had done what was required.
Maybe that’s not what is required. Twice, recently, I have failed to break alongside someone and to plead God’s mercy with them. I was satisfied to know their need. There’s privilege to “be in the know” (you know).
The beauty of learning is that it alerts me to who I really am and softens me in what I think I know. I guess I actually learn more when I realize how far down on the curve I am. And that’s a good thing (kinda fits a weakness theology).