J. Marshall Jenkins

Author, Therapist, Spiritual Director

Journey Into the Better Reality

In reality, every story leads to an open road.

Dear Wounded Healer,

Every story ends with a lie.

Stories have a beginning, middle, and end. But in reality, there are no endings, only open fields, new highways, and proliferating questions.

People who share their stories with you arrive with a traveler’s tale but also a road ahead. You are like an innkeeper or waiter at a roadside diner. With you they settle in, take stock, and re-check the map. And because journeys are perilous and full of uncertainty, they need a witness.

They bring their dreams with them, and you bring yours if you’re honest. One dream the two of you may share is the dream of a happy ending, of closure, of the point of arrival when there is no more need for striving and navigating. All that is needed is rest and sweet reminiscence on a story of success, heroism, or homecoming.

The realization of that dream would secure your identity as a skillful healer and teacher. It would satisfy your visitor that she navigated cleverly and moved powerfully. And from that mountaintop, both of you could shred your worries about her once uncharted course and toss them scattering in the wind.

But that would be an illusion. Moreover, reality is better than that.

Not that it seems better. Blunt-edged reality always promises pitfalls, losses, miscues, and dumb luck. What value has your ministry to this traveler when such calamitous prospects still loom?

The partial answer is that only from the failures and setbacks of the journey do our truest, best selves emerge. But the full answer is that only at such times do we feel the hand of God who travels with us hidden and incognito all along, and it is not after all our journey but God’s. If we courageously navigate our way, we discover that all along we faithfully follow often unawares.

By caring for your visitor, you bear witness to this named or unnamed God with whom they travel on a journey that is also the destiny. There is no ministry more valuable than that.

Blessings,

Your Inner Voice of Love

Posts in the Wounded Healers Blog are messages of gentle encouragement I give to myself and offer to you as messages you may adopt for yourself. For further context, visit the home page.

Related Post

You Can Rest Now

J. Marshall Jenkins

About J. Marshall Jenkins

J. Marshall Jenkins is an author, psychotherapist, teacher, and spiritual director. For several years he has been writing on the Beatitudes for people in emotional pain, publishing biweekly here on his Beatitudes Blog at http://www.jmarshalljenkins.com. His newest book, Blessed at the Broken Places: Reclaiming Faith and Hope with the Beatitudes, is now available through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

blessed-at-the-broken-places-study-guide-rendered-300

When you sign up to receive my blog posts by email, I will send you a free digital copy of the Introduction & Study guide to my new book Blessed at the Broken Places.

Enter your email address below to get started!

Leave a Reply