How to Create Safe Spaces

Times are hard. The cultural and social climate in America right now is more polarized than I have ever seen in my adult life. Everything is political. And when everything is political, people can easily forget how to respond in a civil manner. Without thinking, we can become angry or defensive, be too passive or aggressive or both, we quickly forget that there is more than one way to respond, conclude, or think about things, and we most certainly can forget the characteristic of compassion. This is what life is like in America right now.

The toxic environment of name calling, shouting, and ignoring the other has now become the norm, and that toxicity has infiltrated the church. At a time when it could be healing to draw near to others, as we draw near to Christ, we are actually pulling away and retreating to the places where we feel most comfortable, or worse, to the lonely place of isolation because we simply don’t want to deal with others.

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A Wilderness Experience: To Share or Not to Share

To truth story and testimony from my friend, Lesa Engelthaler:

God was silent. I could not feel his presence. It was sparked by one “no” from God, followed by another, and another. Then a stretch of divine silence that lasted for over three years. Some would describe it as a Dark Night of the Soul. It was a wilderness time. It was excruciating and I had no idea how to talk about it or even if I should.

On occasion, I worked up the courage to offer an honest reply to the “How you doing?” question. “Actually not so good,” I would say. “God seems really silent lately.”

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