I’ve been reading the work of Frank Viola for a few years now, and following his writing online. He has a powerful, and I think, revolutionary view of the church and his words have impacted me deeply. So I was thrilled to be able to meet him last year at a coaching event for writers that he put on. (If you are a writer, I highly recommend you check it out. It was one of the best events I’ve ever been to, and helped me so much.) He has been so gracious and supportive of me and my book launch, and I’m so thankful. This week he published an interview with me about The Wisdom of Your Heart.
Here’s a excerpt.
My dad died unexpectedly when I was eleven. How might the course of my development have changed if someone could have sat with me when I was grieving, and told me, “This thing you’re feeling, it’s OK. It’s right and normal. That terrible ache in your gut that feels like a never-ending pit, that’s grief. You’re going to feel it for a while, but nothing is wrong with you. You don’t need to hide it. You don’t need to cover it up. You’ll be OK, but for right now this is your brain and body’s way of letting you know how big your love for your dad is, and how much you miss him.”
No one in my life was equipped to say something like that. My church didn’t have any tools to help me understand and process it. The people around me were mostly uncomfortable with my grief, and so they ignored, or disappeared, or offered an endless stream of useless platitudes.
That’s just one life experience, and I know everyone has something similar in their story. So, it’s my hope that perhaps I can help change the conversation in the church, so that we become more equipped to help each other through these moments.
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