Do No Harm

First, do no harm.

Quick! Where’s that from?

hippocratic

Hippocratic Oath? That’s what I thought.

Nope. After doing a little online reading, I found it’s not in the original Greek version. There’s a phrase in the Latin that might come close. It is believed the phrase came into acceptance somewhere in the 17th century.

Why does this matter? What drove me to even look?

I’m glad you asked.

Yesterday, on my drive to visit some folks who are completing a drug rehab program, I had a heart to heart with God.

At first I was trying to anticipate conversations and how I would respond. Okay, I confess I think these kinds of thing through for all kinds of encounters. I’m an old Girl Scout: I tried to always be prepared.

But the rehearsals in my mind were going nowhere.

So I stopped—talking not driving.

And I confessed how foolish I felt and I asked God what I needed to do.

Yes, I’m a trained pastor (two different Masters degrees for that) and a trained counselor (Masters degree and all kinds of continuing education), but we’re facing a giant of an enemy in this heroin epidemic.

This must be how David felt when he faced Goliath. (Okay, go ahead think current Pepsi commercials. See video below if you’re unfamiliar.)

God, I don’t know what to say. I want to offer your kind of lasting, life-changing, life-giving help. How do I do that?

 I know, not a very eloquent prayer—didn’t even say Amen at the end.

But God heard. And God spoke: Do No Harm.

donoharm.jpg

This is a huge request for an ESFP with ADD. I am not like my introverted friends who think and then overthink and maybe think some more before they open their mouths to speak. I think out loud. Words tumble out of my mouth faster than I can check them.

How do I do that?

Here’s what I did:

I listened. A challenging thing for an ESFP with ADD.

Listening requires intentional focus. Trust me: this requires more energy than a 30 minute workout at CURVES.

But I did it.

And I shared what I knew to be true.

This included some of my own struggle, but also a couple of my foundation scripture promises and fundamental counseling truths.

I’m not sure if we slayed the giant…but we did some serious damage. I left those appointments whoopin’ and hollerin’ for Jesus.

These were divine appointments and I was just along for the ride.

Check back for the next post where I’ll share one of those fundamental counseling truths.  (How’s that for a teaser?!)

 

**ESFP is a Myers-Brigs Trait Inventory designation (MBTI). When I take the inventory I identify as an Extrovert who takes in my surroundings through my Senses, makes judgments through my Feelings, and organizes Perceptively (which is kind of like no organization at all—think scattered).

If you want to check out the test just google it. You can take it online and receive your information.

**ADD is a psychiatric identification, Attention Deficit Disorder. My brain typically runs in scatter mode. I act before thinking. I get overwhelmed by too many instructions. I am highly distracted…squirrel!

 

 

Wondering and Wandering to Christmas: Shhhhhh…

I will probably never be accused of being quiet. It was one of the things that really bothered my dad. He was always telling me to turn down my volume. He made a point to remind me to be quieter whenever I went out or to someone’s home. I laugh loud. I talk loud. I am just loud. So it was really hard for me to grasp what Paul was saying to the Thessalonians: 11 Make it your goal to live a quiet life (4:11, NLT). In terms of Myers-Briggs, I’m an ESFP. I have ADD. So I’m an extrovert, who thinks out loud, and acts impulsively. How am I supposed to live a quiet life?

Just as shalom, peace, is not merely the absence of conflict, quiet is more than just the absence of noise. In a small but insightful book, “Nurturing Silence in a Noisy Heart”, Dr. Wayne Oates points out that the noise of daily life can keep one from listening to, and attending to, the whispers which are truly important. Ken Gire picks up on the same theme in his book on the reflective life: “The reflective life is a life that is attentive, receptive, and responsive to what God is doing in us and around us (p. 11, The Reflective Life).”

Keeping those thoughts in mind, I can begin to believe that a quiet life is achievable for even me. It also reminds me of one of my favorite parts of the Christmas story. Having just delivered the baby Jesus, laying in a stable surrounded by shepherds, being serenaded by angels, Mary held it all as treasure and pondered them in her heart. Mary demonstrated the reflective and quiet life. Will we be attentive and reflective or busy and noisy? The quiet life awaits.