How Does That Make You Feel?
Lately I have found myself talking to a lot people who are at crossroads in their lives. Everyone has told me that they are experiencing something akin to frustration, but that’s not exactly how they feel. They can’t describe it as sadness, either.
When we do approach a crossroad in our lives we generally plan how we are going to proceed. We seldom think about how or what we feel when these times in our lives happen.
Attempting to describe how we feel about something is one of the most difficult things for human beings to do. Often when I ask someone how they feel about something they just read or they just heard, that person will tell me what they saw or understood.
Seldom will they immediately tell me how they feel. We do not like to talk about our feelings – it makes us vulnerable.
Have you ever been asked to share your feelings with another person? You know, sit together in a room and tell that other person how you feel inside?
It’s really hard to do. You don’t want to say the wrong thing. You don’t want them to take it personally. You don’t want to upset anyone. So instead of honouring our feelings, we do that famous “stiff upper lip” thing.
I often wonder how Jesus felt when the disciples were sitting and listening to him teach and when all was said and done, they didn’t get it. Did he feel frustrated with them? Was he sad that they couldn’t grasp what he was telling them, no matter how clearly he told the story? How did he feel when they finally got it? Elated? Joyful?
Feelings are a gift from God. Joy, sadness, happiness, anger, frustration – all are feelings that we each experience in our lives, and so many more.
The next time you read a passage from scripture, ask yourself, “how does this make me feel?”
Don’t try to ignore them. Don’t try to sidestep around them. Face them squarely and you will find the stories in scripture pull you into them in a whole new way.
Rev. Sue McCullough
Anglican Parish, Morrisburg
Irouqois and Riverside Heights.