The Real EPIPHANY—
by Bill Scar, Editor
What does that mean for you? Our faith traditions celebrate different things at different times, and in a great variety of forms.
January 6th may now be remembered in this country more for a political insurrection founded on anything but the truth or a light shining on a blessing from God. In our religions and in our ministries we seek to bring the truth and the hope of greater healing to bear upon the needs of people in pain and suffering in sorrow. Without the truth and people committed to it, there is no way to plan the best way forward or determine what treatments to apply.
Covid is not an excuse for all the ills and confusion we now experience, but a still mysterious pandemic sows more seeds of doubt, even though we now know what to do to prevent its spread and treat the vast majority of cases. One more layer of stress added to the daily lives of all of us of whatever age.
The worst stress of all may indeed be doubt because that leaves so much room for fear and ignorance. And since, as ego-driven creatures, we seldom admit or really examine our doubts and insecurities, we become vulnerable to error, evil, lies, and all the things that only make matters worse. Wanting answers is superseded by wanting certainty and something else to blame!
Enter the demagogue with ALL the answers, whether religious, medical, or political! And so, certainty trumps truth. If I am not getting what I want, don’t tell me how to find a proper solution…tell me who is preventing me from getting what I want and deserve! E.g, don’t guide me in faith to be a better person, tell me how the Devil reaches in and screws up my life. Don’t provide me with the treatments and procedures that will heal me and mitigate my misery, offer me the “miracle cures” and drugs that are guaranteed to fix everything and take all my pain away. Don’t affirm the fairness and legitimacy of an open political process, arm me with whatever it takes to get the justice I seek.
What we seem to need is for God to save us from ourselves, but that is not how faith works. Divine intervention is not intended to break our spirits or force us to believe anything. God is not going away but is still waiting for us to receive and celebrate and implement all the blessings we have already been given and yet deny.
In the Christian tradition, God sent the solution as a baby born in poverty to a virgin in her early teens—and yet an epiphany is still required. Every spiritual solution requires an awakening in us, an enlightenment to a truth greater than we are.
There is our mission, to bear witness to truths that are greater than the limits of our human doubts and misery and suffering and hopelessness. That is what pastoral psychotherapists, the chaplains, and counselors on the front lines of human loss and distress, are called to do. Through our words and times of silence, we are a soulful and healing presence to the “living human documents” we encounter in a world that needs us. Do we see that?
Bill Scar, Editor
The PASTORAL REPORT, CPSP