Friday, 7 October 2011

Borrowed Hope

Companioning: the art of bringing comfort to another by becoming familiar with her story (experiences and needs). To companion the grieving person, therefore, is to break bread literally or figuratively, as well as listen to the story of the other. Of course this may well involve tears and sorrow and tends to involve a give and take of story: I tell you my story and you tell me yours. It is a sharing in a deep and profound way.
  1. Companioning is about being present to another person’s pain; it is not about taking away the pain.
  2. Companioning is about going to the wilderness of the soul with another human being; it is not about thinking you are responsible for finding the way out.
  3. Companioning is about honoring the spirit; it is not about focusing on the intellect.
  4. Companioning is about listening with the heart; it is not about analyzing with the head.
  5. Companioning is about bearing witness to the struggles of others; it is not about judging or directing these struggles.
  6. Companioning is about walking alongside;it is not about leading or being led.
  7. Companioning means discovering the gifts of sacred silence; it does not mean filling up every moment with words.
  8. Companioning the bereaved is about being still; it is not about frantic movement forward.
  9. Companioning is about respecting disorder and confusion; it is not about imposing order and logic.
  10. Companioning is about learning from others; it is not about teaching them.
  11. Companioning is about curiosity; it is not about expertise. (Alan Wolfelt)

The truth of faith is not articulated in offering reasons for suffering, but rather in drawing alongside those who suffer, standing with them, and standing up for them. This is pastoral care at its most luminous. (Pete Rollins)

Mourn with those who mourn.

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