Published Jul. 30, 2016 in the Ames Tribune.
By Eileen Gebbie
My God, people are in so much pain. Nerves are frayed, souls are bleeding.
This is not news. To you or to me. There is a vibration of fear and distrust in the land, which none of us can escape.
As a pastor, it is not actually my place to try to escape. An important part of my work is being with people in their pain. I’ve had formal training and years of experience in “pastoral care.” It’s a kind of caring distinct from what mental health care professionals do, in that I do not diagnose or offer solutions. I listen and I pray.
I ask the (often considered annoying) question, “Where is God for you in this?” So receiving and witnessing pain comes with my job.
But something shifted in the last month, at least for me in my ministry. I’ve preached about and been public in my response to all of the recent shootings and public violence, even before Orlando and Dallas.
But it has felt like humanity — or at least the people of Ames and Story County — recently crossed into no-mans’ land, or broke through a dam — whatever metaphor for unfamiliar territory and feeling overwhelmed works for you.