Innerweave: The Wholeness Story
I’ve been listening these days to junior medical students who are spending a month with family medicine physicians as they weigh in on the role-modeling they are experiencing in clinics all over the Inland Empire. When they speak of the attitudes of their preceptors, I listen to see if some of the following attitudes are noticeable. And also remember that these same attitudes are most desirable in all other healing professions:
There is a manifest willingness to move into life and to be actively present to suffer with … to enter into places of pain, to share in brokenness, fear, confusion, anguish, to cry out with those in misery, to mourn with those who are lonely, to weep with those in tears, weak, vulnerable, powerless.
There is a growing desire to create space where hurting, seeking people can enter and bring who and what they are for healing, care, and nurture. There is no attempt to be judgmental toward what seems to be unacceptable human behavior; and there is no discrimination of who is to get help. There is, by God’s grace, acceptance, forgiveness, and much patience.
In times of self-doubt and despair all life appears unreal, false, dishonest, even brutal. Then one day you find someone who listens, who loves, who cares—someone gentle who feels your presence, and you start gradually to feel, to trust, to be a genuine person.
Every association of life calls for self-control, forbearance, and compassion. We differ so widely in disposition, habits, education, that our ways of looking at things vary. We judge differently. Our understanding of truth, our ideas in regard to the conduct of life, are not in all respects the same. There are no two whose experiences are alike in every particular. The trials of one are not the trials of another. The duties that one finds easy are to another most difficult and perplexing.
So frail, so ignorant, so liable to misconception is human nature, that each should be careful in the estimate they place upon another. We little know the bearing of our acts upon the experience of others. What we do or say may seem to us of little moment, when could our eyes be opened, we should see that upon it depended the most important results for good, or for evil.
Jesus was like all of this; in Him it is also possible for us!
By Wil Alexander, PhD
Professor of family medicine, School of Medicine