I appreciate all of the Givers who wrote back and shared their grid, but I was quite jolted by the fairly uniform perspective. It is not one I feel comfortable with. Simply put, most Givers reject most offers of caring, with a high reactivity to the issue of perceived insincerity.
In my head, I understand that the Giver tribe is heavily bent toward risk abatement and that the Prophet tribe is equally intensely bent toward outrageous pursuit of vision, at the expense of all logic and caution. Having said that, however, I struggle significantly with the Givers feeling legitimate in editing out most incoming caring as being too high risk.
I bring two frames to bear here. First is the issue of God’s propensity to be messy. If we zoom out far beyond care and compassion, God has delivered an awful lot of wonderful gifts to me of all sorts, through some rather messy and insincere and hurtful messengers. And this is not just for me. As I look through Scripture, many of His gifts would not have gotten past the guards at your doors. That concerns me.
Second, on a macro scale, we have the rather horrifying statement, “He came unto his own, but his own received him not.” This singular failure by the Giver tribe to receive a rather wonderful gift that came in a rather unexpected package still reverberates through history.
My posture historically has been to risk big in order to receive the most. Let’s look at deliverance and inner healing from that pragmatic perspective. At least 25% of all the people who have ministered to me have been damaging or defiling. Another 50% have been useless.
In spite of the fact that I have a 75% chance of not getting better, I have continued to seek out ministry to become whole and dangerous. It is a choice. And it has gotten me far, far down the road, because some of the rough, crude, messy people happened to have a piece or two I needed.
In terms of caring and compassion, I very much agree that a lot of people are serving themselves in the way they comment or the e-mails they write me, while purporting to be serving me. This is a very common problem with all kinds of volunteers. I further agree that there is a big difference between what we have in our hand to give, and what the other person actually needs.
I found the discussion of shiva to be interesting. Basically, I would use the word “synchronize.” Wise comforting involved synchronizing with the hurting person and letting them lead you in showing what flavors of comfort they could benefit from.
This is simply un-American. From caring for the baby in NICU to dealing with nations on a global basis, we are so very sure we know what someone else needs and are happy to deliver it in a drive-by shooting style. Finding what the other person’s needs and desires are is a foreign language to us.
So we have a dysfunctional comforting modality in our culture. Not going to change any time soon. I can understand my Giver having a belly full of the nonsense and hiring a thug to block out all unsolicited comfort, as a means of not having to deal with the hurtful stuff.
While I understand that, I do not accept it as representative of my values and my lifestyle.
I risk to gain.
So I had a blunt discussion with the thug and sent him off to North Korea to find something else to guard.
I had a perspective-broadening discussion with Giver and deployed her in a different sector of my life.
Then I brought Exhorter and Mercy to the front, to edit incoming offers of caring and to determine whether to let them in. As you will see one of these days, if we ever get there, the Exhorter gift figures largely in this whole dynamic. So if this is where God is going, we should lean into His plans.
And I brought Mercy because she is among the more grounded and non-reactive portions of my spirit.
So that is my restructuring for the moment, so I can get back to the process of dealing with the disappointment that we started with.
That said, it is obvious that we have a stupendous opportunity here for a new skill set to be developed. What would it look like for someone to facilitate a small group, with a couple of hurting people and three or four people who would like to be comforters, so we could learn how to follow the hurting person, instead of trying to lead them.
This is an old, old skill in other cultures. It would be a foreign language here, but certainly would be of immense value if we could learn it.
Copyright August 2016 by Arthur Burk
From the Hub