The importance of listening, acknowledging hurt and reconciling, by Carolyn
It is a source of great disappointment to me that the United Church has not managed to universally put into concrete action the often lofty principles voted on at General Council concerning things like inclusion and justice. As a church, we need to follow whole-heartedly, above all fearlessly, the example of Jesus, who dared to be seen with and listen to those whom the society of his day would have seen as sinful, tainted, to be avoided: tax collectors, women said to be of dubious morals, Samaritans, the handicapped (who would be seen to have sinned to be so afflicted), even members of the Roman military (one of whose children he healed).
It is imperative that we find a way, in our church community (both local and global) to truly listen to each other about our varied experiences and perspectives. Especially where there was been hurt, that the wounded ones feel their hurt is acknowledged as real and those who have hurt them (whether through ignorance or not) acknowledge what they have done and a door is left open for reconciliation through authentic listening. Such is the route for compassion to set in and for mutual understanding and joint action for healing.
[Shared with permission. Photo credit: Wix stock photo.]