Monday, January 08, 2007

Reading the manual...

Yesterday's sermon began with the minister telling us a story of using a fireplace/type of log he was not used to. It was one of those supper hot , ultra burning ones.. they were getting concerned about burning the house down and got the fire extinguisher. One said to the other, "better make sure we know know how to use it". His next statement was that it is not a good idea to be learning the instructions/reading the operating manual when you are in the middle of a crisis/emergency. It is also not a good idea to be doing that in a moral crisis either. It is important to be prepared so that you know what to do when crisis hits.

One of my friends told me that this blog has helped her to understand the actual "work" I do in my job. That statement from the minister resonated with me. Essentially, the patients/people that I meet in my work are in the middle of a crisis that they are not prepared for. ( But then, life is full of unexpected events isn't it?) Often the people who are in the hospital and those affected, (for serious illness or prolonged, I'm talking about, and mostly at onset) are not sure how to deal with it. I have found that a lot of people do not have a "religious" or "faith" foundation and hence they are groping for any kind of help to decide what to do.

When one is in the midst of a crisis, they are often not thinking clearly. On autopilot. They may not see the big picture. This is part of my work, to help "read the manual" so that they don't have to. I don't mean that I am telling them what to do, but rather helping to make sense of what is coming out of their minds/thoughts.

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