Testimony as a Tool for Improved Health, Wellness and Wholeness
Posted Apr 19 2010 8:49am
Before I begin today's thought, I must apologize to you all. It appears that I had the "comments" button set so that no one could easily comment on my posts. I think that I've corrected this, so please, post your comments so we can engage in discussion and learning. Also, as indicated in my post on Thursday, my grandmother did indeed die on Saturday. She did so peacefully with my sister, mother and father in attendance. Prayers for my family in this time of grief are appreciated.
Today's comments go to the power of story in helping other people understand an event in your life. The actor, Denis Quaid, and his family were stricken by a medical error 3 years ago when his infant children were just 10 days old. This medical error has been well documented, and led to Mr. Quaid's formation of a foundation to seek to eliminate medical errors. He has co-authored an article that focuses on the power of shared story to change perspectives. This is what I want to focus on today. See:
In many churches (certainly in the "traditional" Methodist church that I attend) we have lost the power of shared story - that is the sharing of testimony or witnessing. In that case, witnessing to the role of God in the life of the person (and the application to the broader community). The giving and receiving of testimony, once such a part of spiritual formation (and of building healthy community) has been pushed aside in most mainline denominations. It appears that we have done this to our detriment.
Consider that in all the Abrahamic faiths, testimony, midrash, parable, etc., are all ways in which the message was spread. It was also the primary vehicle through which people were/are converted and retained. The article by Quaid, et al, once again highlights the power of the giving and receiving of witness. It can be argued that the only reason we as healthcare professionals and as institutions have progressed at all on the matter of patient safety and medical/medication error reduction has been because of the sharing of stories.
So, how do we go forward from here? Possibilities Journey is all about shared story. We are sharing the story of how we need to return to our "roots" of spirituality to help everyone understand that without story there is no community, and without community there is no wholeness; without wholeness there can be no health and no wellness.
Come, share your stories and journey with us towards Shalom.