Reading the news.

Rich Dixon has a confession today. (I understand. js)


Confession time: I react too much to exterior stimulus.

That’s a fancy way of saying I get really upset about events I can’t control. Those close to me (my wife) would tell you my reactions often spiral into disproportionate levels of negativity and depression in other parts of life.

Some of that’s just me, but one reason I write and share is I have a sense that I’m not alone. I suspect there are others for whom the sense of angst sometimes spills over the gunwales and threatens to swamp the entire boat.

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If that’s you, let’s have a little chat.

We’re a bit frustrated, aren’t we, when we’re constantly reminded about how Jesus has it all under control? We believe that’s true, of course, but theological niceties don’t alleviate the panic when it feels like the boat’s sinking.

We feel kind of powerless, don’t we? We wish we could do something, or do more. It’s so easy for “powerless” to slide into “helpless” into “hopeless.”

And when someone tries to make us feel better, we just hold up our hands. We don’t want to hear it. Not now.

End of chat.

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So…what? Do we just ignore those folks, let them wallow in their grief and self-pity? I don’t think so.

Our friend the Chaplain says the key is “talk less, listen more.” He says it’s not about providing answers, but offering presence. It’s almost like he wants us to be like Jesus and simply hang out with people along their journey.

It’s an approach that requires patience, trust, and faith. And maybe some discomfort and commitment.

Lots of times we just can’t find words, because words aren’t what’s called for. The Chaplain says often the best thing he can say is, “This is hard.”

He’s a wise man. Because he follows a wise teacher.