Little known fact: I hold a master’s in education for agency counseling. Not because of all the time I’ve spent in therapy, but a real degree. Could qualify me to counsel people in a clinical situation. Scary, huh?
I say I hold the degree because I do nothing with it professionally. Never completed the gazillion practicum hours for licensure. Adored my psychology classes. But after a couple years interning I figured I didn’t make a very good counselor and ran back to marketing.
At the end of the day, all I could do was empathize. Even armed with my degree, I never felt qualified to tell people what they should do. I know that’s not exactly the job of good counselors, but I didn’t understand how to help clinically.
They might get better, or not. Some did, some didn’t. Some moved toward wellness quickly. For most it was a long, slow journey. Too long and slow for Little Miss Impatient me.
Hearing the clients tell their stories was the silver lining. Through them I learned we’re on a continuum of mental health, just like we’re on a continuum of physical health. Degrees of wellness may vary during our lives.
They had problems, yes. But when I actually talked to them, including those diagnosed with serious disorders, I found they weren’t so crazy after all. They were a lot like you and me.
The wounded healer model made perfect sense. Not an expert who would sit in judgment and dictate the means for recovery. Instead, someone who could get in the boat of hard knocks with folks because we all sail in it sometimes. Through empathizing, I thought I could help.
Who knows if I did? My foray into counseling stops short. Human solutions do.
We can suggest, support, command, plan, medicate, care, counsel, advise, intervene, intercede. We are responsible to do whatever is in our power to help. In the end, however, we are powerless to change ourselves or anyone else.
Sound hopeless? Don’t mean to get all religious on you, but I would be irresponsible if I didn’t remind you today is Good Friday.
Christ died on Good Friday. He met the end every human will face. He can empathize. He can go deep.
He didn’t stop short. He got in the boat, living and dying with us, only without sin. Then he did what no one has done or can do except Him. He lived again.
That’s why it’s Good. He opened the way for us to be changed and to follow.
No doubt the struggles and infirmities we face–the sins we commit–are wickedly bad. But this is Good Friday, and Sunday’s coming.
The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay…” Matthew 28:5-6 NIV
In this video on YouTube, Lead Me to the Cross by Hillsong United is set to scenes from The Passion of the Christ. A moving song and depiction of the historical events that changed everything, it is not for children or the faint of heart. Happy Easter, everyone. He is risen. He is risen indeed.
An Answer to a Friend
In 2004 when The Passion of the Christ came out, a friend said she didn’t understand the part with the woman in the sand. That part opens the video mentioned above. Read the chilling story for yourself in John 8:1-11.