Monday, July 18, 2016

During a Crisis remember to "Comfort IN, Dump OUT."

United Methodist North Texas Conference News

A New Vision, A New Voice ~ The North Texas Conference

How Not to Say the Wrong Thing in Death, Illness, Divorce, and Other Crises

"Draw a circle. This is the center ring. In it, put the name of the person at the center of the current trauma. For Katie’s aneurysm, that’s Katie. Now draw a larger circle around the first one. In that ring put the name of the person next closest to the trauma. In the case of Katie’s aneurysm, that was Katie’s husband, Pat. Repeat the process as many times as you need to. In each larger ring put the next closest people. Parents and children before more distant relatives. Intimate friends in smaller rings, less intimate friends in larger ones. When you are done you have a Kvetching Order. One of Susan’s patients found it useful to tape it to her refrigerator.
Here are the rules. The person in the center ring can say anything she wants to anyone, anywhere. She can kvetch and complain and whine and moan and curse the heavens and say, “Life is unfair” and “Why me?” That’s the one payoff for being in the center ring.
Everyone else can say those things too, but only to people in larger rings.
When you are talking to a person in a ring smaller than yours, someone closer to the center of the crisis, the goal is to help. Listening is often more helpful than talking. But if you’re going to open your mouth, ask yourself if what you are about to say is likely to provide comfort and support. If it isn’t, don’t say it. Don’t, for example, give advice. People who are suffering from trauma don’t need advice. They need comfort and support. So say, “I’m sorry” or “This must really be hard for you” or “Can I bring you a pot roast?” Don’t say, “You should hear what happened to me” or “Here’s what I would do if I were you.” And don’t say, “This is really bringing me down.”
If you want to scream or cry or complain, if you want to tell someone how shocked you are or how icky you feel, or whine about how it reminds you of all the terrible things that have happened to you lately, that’s fine. It’s a perfectly normal response. Just do it to someone in a bigger ring.
Comfort IN, dump OUT."

Mark 4.40-41 "Fear"

Mark 4.40-41
Notice that the disciples' fear did not go away.  It changed in the kind and focus, from the cowardly fear of the storm to the reverent fear of the One with the power to calm the storm. 
Faith has many antonyms.  Fear is one of them.
Mark 4.40 But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? bHow 8is it that you have no faith?[1]
25.268 δειλός, ή, όν: pertaining to being cowardly—‘cowardly, coward.’ τοῖς δὲ δειλοῖς καὶ ἀπίστοιςτὸ μέρος αὐτῶν ἐν τῇ λίμνῃ τῇ καιομένῃ πυρὶ καὶ θείῳ but for cowards and traitors … the place for them is the lake burning with fire and brimstone’ Re 21:8. In some languages a ‘coward’ is ‘one who always runs’ or ‘one who runs away at nothing.’[2]

Mark 4.41 And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”[3]
25.252 φοβέομαιa: (derivative of φόβοςa ‘fear,’ 25.251) to be in a state of fearing—‘to fear, to be afraid.’ καὶ ἀκούσαντες οἱ μαθηταὶ ἔπεσαν ἐπὶ πρόσωπον αὐτῶν καὶ ἐφοβήθησαν σφόδρα ‘when the disciples heard this, they fell face downward and were extremely afraid’ Mt 17:6; καὶ μὴ φοβεῖσθε ἀπὸ τῶν ἀποκτεννόντων τὸ σῶμα and do not fear those who are able to kill the body’ Mt 10:28; ἐφοβοῦντο γὰρ τὸν λαόν, μὴ λιθασθῶσιν ‘they were afraid that the people might stone them’ Ac 5:26.[4]

b Matt. 14:31, 32; Luke 8:25
8 NU Have you still no faith?
[1] The New King James Version (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982), Mk 4:40.
[2] Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 317.
[3] The New King James Version (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982), Mk 4:41.
[4] Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 315.