Born of the Spirit Not the Process
+Archbishop James Salisbury Jr., OSB.
Leonard Sweet has given us an interesting insite concerning how we go about reaching out for help. We are ready to send persons through the process in a safe correct manor. As a former Social Worker working with the homeless and persons with addiction problems I had all of the many list to present for help. In so many cases I was working with clients, who lives out their faith pulling their cross and crying out to our God. I will never forget one of my fellow Social Workers saying “You know God is going to get us, because we have become Homeless and Addiction Pimps, running people through our process of proper ways to deal with their problem and leaving God out.”
Duke University psychiatrist Redford B. Williams has written a book called The Trusting Heart (New York: Random House). What he has discovered is that Type A behavior will not kill you. Grueling schedules, workaholism, stress, hurriedness - all these "Type A" personality syndromes are not predictive of early death. Only hostility, cynicism, aggression, and orneriness - these are the killers. People who cannot trust, people who can only control, are in more than spiritual jeopardy. Their health is on the line as well.
The crowd that tried to quiet the boisterous blind man was evidently embarrassed by Bartimaeus' loud, direct method of expressing his needs and petitioning his desires. There were established channels by which to petition the Lord for healing or forgiveness - why didn't Bartimaeus submit to them? The crowd, like so many of us, preferred to put its trust in the Process instead of in the Spirit. But Jesus did not say to Nicodemus, "You must be born of the Process." In fact it is only when we free ourselves from the deep ruts that "following the process" has carved into our lives that we become able to trust in and follow the wings of the Spirit, wherever it may lead.