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We Preachers MUST NOT make the mistake Biden did with Gold-Star Families

 
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Post We Preachers MUST NOT make the mistake Biden did with Gold-Star Families doyle
During Piedmont University's "Clinical-Pastoral-Care" (ER, ICU, and regular Hospital Chaplaincy) training, we were vigorously instructed at length on AVOIDING one of the biggest MISTAKES, Chaplains, Pastors, Ministers, Counselors and Leaders of all kinds make.

I struggled with it then and still do at times. It seems to come naturally and from good intent, but works against what we are seeking to accomplish.

THE MISTAKE President Joe Biden just made when meeting with "Gold Star Families," can be avoided. Their son or daughter had been killed in the Kabul BOMB attack. The incredible NEGATIVE REACTION you have seen on the news about Biden's visit with them, illustrates how destructive this mistake is to any attempt to show compassion.

When meeting with those devastated families, Biden is accused of talking about his son, his own hurt instead of theirs. Though I disagree with President Biden on almost everything politically, I believe he was sincerely wanting to show compassion.

Without a doubt, his son dying of cancer has been crushing; his grief deep and real. However, in his role as President, he was with the "Gold Star Families" for THEM, for their grief, not his own.

IN A SINCERE ATTEMPT to show people that we identify with their hurt, we find it nearly impossible NOT to talk about ourselves. Our INTENT is sincere and admirable. We want to show them that we are fellow-travelers in pain; also familiar with what it feels like to hurt, to grieve, to be emotionally devastated by tragic events.

However, when we talk about ourselves during an attempt to comfort others, it draws the attention away from them and to us. Compassion for them is sucked out of the room and grasped to ourselves. If we care about them, listen to them about them. Don't talk about yourself. Our ministry or counselor time with them is about them.

Even if they say, "Pastor, (Counselor), (Minister), (Friend), haven't you recently suffered loss too?" it is important to turn the focus back to them.

"Yes, but when I heard about what happened to you, I knew your heart would be breaking. I had to come be with you."

IT IS DIFFICULT not to talk about your own pain while wanting to help others who are hurting. After years as a Pastor and Chaplain, I still struggle not to say, "I know what you are going through. My Loved One (Father, Mother, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Friends etc.) died."

To show concern, DO NOT draw attention away from them by talking about yourself. Intentionally decide NOT to talk about you or yours. The time with them is exclusively about them and what they are going through.

WHILE WRITING this to you, a text arrived from my Cousin Linda in Roanoke, VA. She shared some fears about her declining eyesight, a treatment she is undergoing and the upcoming appointment with the doctor.

Pausing from writing, I began to answer her text. After a few sentences, I realized that instead of focusing on the personal concerns she had shared, I had begun to share mine.

"Linda, sorry to hear about your eyesight. Mine is not as good as it used to be either. I'm not wearing glasses yet, but may need them soon. One of my friends just had Laser surgery and says it has helped a lot..."

Whoa! I caught myself, deleted my return text and wrote instead, "Oh Linda. I'm sorry about your eyesight. Tell me more. Are you in any pain?"

This is her word-for-word reply:
"Doyle, some days the dryness does hurt. Cold eye-drops and an ice pack helps. Have had an infection in one eye for two days, but I may have caused it by overuse."

Had the text to her continued to be about me, myself and I, the attention would have been drawn away from her and that with which she was dealing. Most likely she would not have shared about the extent of her pain or concern.

IN OUR ROLE as Chaplain, Minister, Pastor, Counselor, when with the hurting, it is about them, not us.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9955041/Dead-marines-family-slam-Biden-withdrawing-Afghanistan-worst-possible-way.html

Chaplain Doyle
writedoyle@mail.com
404-933-1373


[b]
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Last edited by doyle on 9/10/21 4:01 am; edited 2 times in total
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9/3/21 2:23 pm


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Post JLarry
Thanks Doyle, great post.
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9/3/21 4:59 pm


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Post Peanut Butter
I missed your post about this:

https://www.npr.org/2017/10/17/558368880/trump-s-claim-is-wrong-comments-on-presidents-calls-to-military-families-rebutte
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9/3/21 6:51 pm


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Post PB doyle
In my opinion, if she felt that way about Trump, she had a right to say it. Even so, that is no cover for the now well-documented mistake Biden made in talking about his son instead of listening to the "Gold-Star Families" about their grief for their son or daughter.

When consoling others, it is about them EVEN if I am hurting too.
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9/3/21 10:10 pm


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Post georgiapath
Good post Doyle. Hon. Dr. in Acts-celeratology
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9/4/21 6:58 am


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Post Cojak
Peanut Butter wrote:
I missed your post about this:

https://www.npr.org/2017/10/17/558368880/trump-s-claim-is-wrong-comments-on-presidents-calls-to-military-families-rebutte


It is a good point. I never really liked Obama's Tele-prompters to keep him sticking to a preset and checked script.
That helps the personal gaffs out of the from the hip shots.

What is good for the goose is good for the gander.


BUT in truth we who signed up KNEW what could happen, BUT that doesn't ease the parents, that is for danged sure.
BUT definitely Doyle is right, it is not good to comfort others and use your hurt to compare to theirs.


Anyway good point. Cool
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9/4/21 7:55 pm


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