Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Love the attacker


An interesting discussion ensues on Live Journal about Christian Science. It started with the posting from someone who feels Christian Science treatment is dangerous if it leads people to eschew medical care. The community is now discussing the posting.

I posted this:

when I get questions like the poster's, I really try to dig to what they're really upset about. and almost always, it turns out there is some unfortunate circumstance with someone they cared about. so in the end it turns out they're hurting. and my best response has been to be present for their wounds and sometimes to say, "I'm sorry that happened to you." People cover their hurt with anger sometimes, and then out of concern that whatever it was doesn't happen again, they try to persuade others to avoid what they perceive as the cause of the problem. they actually turn out to be earnest concerned people trying to help. there's many spiritual qualities there!

I'd like to know from the original poster what happened in their lives, and try to help them heal that for themselves. they've not yet found peace. can we help them?

sure there are those who simply want to attack, but I'm not sensing that here. my prayers today will include the hope for healing for all who are hurting, even those who blame Christian Science.

This outlook has enabled me to keep from getting angry whenever someone voices a strong opinion against Christian Science. There’s always more to the story. People feel strongly about things when they’ve had some personal experience with it. It’s hard to get all upset about something distant. So my question always is, What’s behind all this? And by listening and not getting defensive, I often finally find out.

Then my next step is to acknowledge their feelings. To show some understanding about the hurt. Then perhaps, after some healing has taken place, the door becomes open to share some of how Christian Science has helped me. Usually once the person has been listened to with respect, they’re more able to respect that my love for Christian Science is sincere and based on experience as well. And we can part ways amicably, and some bitterness has been reduced.

I believe it’s important to remember that it’s not just what we say about Christian Science but how we say it that leaves the impression. Our love for Christian Science doesn’t absolve us from showing love to the attacker, whomever it may be. The surprise of having an attack be met with love is often enough to turn the tide to mutual understanding. And isn’t that a form of healing?


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2 Comments:

At 2/01/2006 04:24:00 PM, Anonymous Rev. Veronika Birken said...

Dear Laura,
I really liked what you had to say about acknowledging the others feelings. What a caring door to open unto my brother! Thank you for this.
Love, Veronika

 
At 2/01/2006 05:07:00 PM, Blogger SBB said...

Laura:

I also appreciate your compassionate and loving approach to the comment on Live Journal.

We may be tempted to argue that loved ones have passed from our sight after relying solely on medical treatment from the disease that was mentioned in the original post - this is true in my own personal experience.

However, the greater healing is the recognition (regardless of situation) that none of us can ever be separated from God's loving embrace and as his beloved ideas, we are expressing eternal life and freedom from the claim of disease and death.

On a separate note, it was welcoming to see your earlier post on Sleeplessness in Tuesday's Monitor.

-Diane

 

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