Friday, March 02, 2007

Community - where you process your stuff???

As Abbot of our little community I always find it a little sad when people who are going through a tough time withdraw from community to deal with their stuff until they feel they are in a better place and can come back.
I've always thought this was an unhealthy way of doing things, but then in a conversation with one of our Chapter members yesterday the possibility emerged that perhaps some people are just wired that way, and that that's ok. i.e. some people work through tough stuff with others and others prefer to go out into the desert on their own and work it out.
This has confused me a little. what do any of my readers think? Should we be encouraging people not to retreat from community during tough times, or should we be recognising that some people do things that way and be reassuring them that we are here and waiting for them when they are ready to come back?
Your thoughts are appreciated!


Emma B said...

I have thoughts on this but dont know how to write them.... argh. I keep deleting what I'm trying to say. Something along the lines of being present or in contact with community, and community being availble and present to you, but not necessarily doing your processing there if that's not how you're "wired" ... I might try again if i can think straighter!

treforW said...

Hi Matt,
Having just been through 3 'difficult' faith years i have to say that i am so glad that i did keep connected to a community. Most of the time, i would love to have run away and hidden. bit of an Elijah really. however, the community rythem (of worship and meeting together) helped get me God in the picture at the times when i was most 'self absorbed' (don Millar phrase) Our guys were great, letting me 'be' without trying to cousel me at every turn, i appreaciated that. Our community emphasises prayer for each other ('ministry' in old terms) which was also helpful in that because it always happened, it wasn't too big a deal on the rare (but good) occasions that i realised prayer would be a good idea. So thumbs up for prcessing struggles in community, however, i should add that i did move to a new community at the start of the process - theres no way i could see myself having recovered to this extent if i had stayed where my struggles began! (which kid of negates what i am saying!) Trefor W (RUN)