Empty me of the disguises and lies in which I hide myself from other people and from my responsibility for my neighbors and for the world. Hollow out in me a space in which I will find myself, find peace and a whole heart, a forgiving spirit and holiness, the springs of laughter, and the will to reach boldly for abundant life for myself and the whole human family.
This is a chunk of prayer called Empty Me by Ted Loder. His book, Guerrillas of Grace should be on everyone's shelf. No, I lied. It should be on everyone's nightstand, kitchen counter, toilet, phone, etc, etc. They're prayers that hit the core of who we are. Deep, real, scary, internal stuff that you don't always want to talk about with people.
This week's readings for my Pastoral Care class talked a lot about hospitality. One piece of that is vulnerability. We're getting to a point in our seminary careers where we need to be vulnerable with each other. We've hit the walls of shallow sharing. It's now time to start getting into the thick and nasty stuff that I'm afraid people will shy away from, knowing full well that I am a master (mistress?) at shying away from sharing my own stories. Pastoral Care has an element of the course where we'll learn about different styles for pastoral counseling and have assigned groups of three people to practice these skills. To which I quote Ted Loder again, "Empty me of the disguises and lies in which I hide myself from other people and from my responsibility for my neighbors and for the world."