One of the things I have noticed while taking Clinical Pastoral Education is how difficult it is for so many people talk about their faith and about God.
I’m not sure if people lack the vocabulary, the experience, or the comfort needed to converse about matters of the spirit, but for so many people the awkwardness of it all is profound.
Ask them about family and the words come easily. As them about work, and no problem. Ask them about their illness and they can give you details about their symptoms, their diagnosis, their treatment, and their hopes.
Ask about God, and most people are reduced to babbling cliches or sitting in silence.
It makes me see the value of those class meetings where people not only were invited each week to talk about their spiritual life but were able to hear others do the same. It must have built up a vocabulary. It meant that people could answer the question, “Do you know Jesus?” without stammering.
Recovering this ability to talk about the life of the spirit without empty cliches or stammering silence would help bring life to the church.
What are some ways we can do that?