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Weep With Those Who Weep

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Shortly after beginning my pastoral ministry in my first congregation, Jean, the chair of the Search Committee who had brought me to that church approached me in a fit of rage.  She was angry that I had forgot to observe some congregational tradition that I knew nothing about.  As she spoke, her face turn bright red with anger, she began to shout, tears of frustration began to stream down her face.  She even began to curse me and call me names.  Then she left without giving me a chance to respond.

 Needless to say, I was hurt.  I was confused.  I had done nothing wrong, but I felt like a failure.  That  evening, I discovered the reason for Jean’s outburst.  Her brother Carl called and informed me that Jean’s had just discovered that she had terminal cancer.  Jean wasn’t angry at me—she was just angry.  She had just discovered that she was about to die—and she was afraid.   She was simply venting her frustrations on the first available target.

 Jesus said:  “Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.”  I did!  The next day I held her hand and together we wept and prayed.  In the months that followed, Jean and I developed a wonderful friendship.  Her’s was the first funeral I was ever called upon to conduct.

 To eliminate our enemies, we must learn not to take everything so personally. Instead, we must try to understand the pain that others feel.

Just Peacemaking: The New Paradigm for the Ethics of Peace and War by: Glen H. Stassen publisher: Pilgrim Press, The, published: 2008-11-30 ASIN: 082981793X EAN: 9780829817935 sales rank: 875984 price: $11.06 (new), $10.98 (used) Just Peacemaking is the product of 23 scholars across various denominations who have collaborated annually for six years to specify the 10 practical steps and develop the undergirding principles of this critical approach.

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