“So this is something you’re doing for your ministry life?”
Um, no. I have no objective reason for getting a Lay Counseling Certificate. For spending 4, 4-day weekends in Seattle with some of the most thoughtful, kind, hungry and true people I know. But in the midst of chasing after another to-do, I’ve backed into a To-Be.
I’m getting this certificate for me.
I’m getting it for my friends that bring their strength and their tenderness to everything they do.
I’m doing it for my children.
I’m doing it for my wife.
I’m doing it for me.
I’m traveling with two externs, one a friend of close to a half decade, the other a friend of nearly 20 years. They’re sensational counselors, they’ve already done this work before and they’ve been invited back to be trained as facilitators. They’ve created a sort of dinner group after hours. So I’m the one non-degreed dude who goes and drinks a beer and eats a salad with seven ninjas. So needless to say, 6 to 8:30 is basically a bonus group session in Belltown. We also do lunch together, although that’s a bit more rushed. But basically, free-time? None. I’m back on the Block Plan.
I’ve been gone almost five days, but because I was engaged with my limbic system, something Stat Nerd Neocortical Ben has frequently placed in a dusty box on the shelf, I feel like I’ve been gone since July. Time moves slowly in the Limbic.
Why do this? Why go face first into this, and come into the last of 7 weekend group sessions, and tell the group “here’s the paradoxical bind: this is terrifying, and this is Joy” ? For reasons like this: Mike shared one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever heard on Saturday. He told a story about encountering a homeless man in South Beach, Miami years ago. The man was on a pier, raging. “WHERE’S THE HOPE, MAN? WHERE’S THE HOPE?”
His companion looked back at him with tenderness in her eyes.
She replied, “It’s somewhere after the pain.”