The shadow side
Hugh had an interesting post last night regarding the family debate taking place in Billy Graham’s family. Rev. Graham’s son wants to create a mocking theme park type of place to bury his parents at. Ruth Graham (the mother) wants to buried somewhere much simpler and, in my opinion, more reflective of the Graham’s ministry. Here’s the article in the Washington Post (some of the comments are interesting too).
More to the point, Hugh used this as a starting point to discuss the shadow side of our persona. Hugh’s post made sense to me – complete sense. When I was in the ministry, one of the things that would bother me was how some ministers could get together and talk about people in their church. I remember one incident where I was with at a meeting and one of the minister’s wives was sharing how proud she was of her husband because he “ran off a Jezebel” that had visited their church. What went through my mind was – isn’t Jezebel who you are in the ministry for?
Now, let me pause here and put this in context. The Jezebel in the Bible had some serious motive to her actions. This lady that visted this particular church was simply a lady that wore heavy make-up and was therefore labelled a Jezebel by this minister and his wife. It was this woman’s first visit from what I understand, and she was accompanied by her husband. I always enjoyed having new people visit my church. That was why I was in the ministry.
I’ll have to talk to Hugh more about the shadow personality. I’d like to explore that further. As I think about this, I realize the people I enjoy being around the most are the people that are frank with me. I try to tune into people. I try to tune into body language and pick up the unspoken signs if I am offending or discussing something that makes them uncomfortable. However, people that will be outspoken and frank enough to let me know where they stand are so much easier to deal with. You know where you stand with them. Hopefully, you are ernest enough with them to let them know where you stand. I have a friend like that. He lets you know where he stands on a subject. And yes, there have been times when we’ve had to agree to disagree.
To quote Hugh: Remember – we do things to get stuff for ourselves. The question to ponder in each context is this: is the doing the shadow or is it the getting?