Thursday, April 14, 2011

Confessions of a Blogger

The public and private admissions of such a blogger as myself are no trial of a reader’s hunches. The man is retired and wants to stay active in ministry; and. Then there is the biggie: he loves to write and pleasures himself by seeing his name in print. Groan, however, at your peril.

Another facet is both public and personal - and most probably joined by you. We were born into violence, ate, drank, and breathed wars and rumors from wars over a lifetime.We are children of our time and place, set amid rapes, rebellions, and riots. An aspect of personal concern to my wife and me is the post traumatic aftershocks. That is a ringing part of the price of being able to save so many of our wounded. It is a glimpse of a shared world vision of world pain. Our conclusion is that this reality of the post traumatic stress disorder is the chief challenge – and opportunity – of the Church today.

We speak not only out of professional concerns, having been pastor, chaplains, pastoral counselors, clinical social workers, but also out of personal experiences. My wife – editor and consultant – was a German child born during a WWll bombing raid; my PTSD event was in a civilian setting (like the majority of them are), but flashbacks are flashbacks, and damnable awkward to ignore as you may have heard.

The blog, The Apostle Paul and Post Traumatic Stress, erupted out of a revelatory insight that the event on the road to Damascus was not a mystical experience. Saul did not share this in common with the two women at the tomb; his experience was distinct from the disciples at table with their Lord after the resurrection. His confrontation was no Pentecost. Saul’s down falling was seeded by violence, bathed in guilt. It was a flashback with all those hundreds of implications for the course of New Testament development. After the scales fell from his eyes he spent the next twenty years working through the characteristics of the disorder: with all of that impact on the emerging Church. This has its positive, as well as negative, aspect. One reason for including Paul in the naming of the blog is that the crucial need today is for a role model for those who suffer from such events; another is that an understanding of this gives us a fresh grip on the peace process. My aspirations are limited however, and in need of being shared.

What I directly hope for: is that the blog will be found supportive of sufferers and their families amid the isolation characteristic of the condition.

What I – we, my wife and colleague, too - dearly wish for,: is that caring persons use this blog in support of their reaching out. That comes out of Annelie's being part of a clinical pastoral education team, and of our experiences in leading pastoral counseling training groups.

Pastoral calls and pastoral counseling are, by their very nature time limited, we cannot be here and there too, and the need for support comes at awkward times for all. If our blog may be available at some time when you are not, we would be honored to be called upon.

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