What does it mean to be Human?

Prudy Ray posted this on Twitter yesterday and I agree:

Theologians need to study science, especially neuroscience as they’re dealing with human beings and the minds.

To back up his statement with my current favorite theologian, Madeleine L’Engle: All science can do is expand our understanding of God.

On Glennon’s latest podcast, they talked about the enneagram. Glennon is a 4 like me and it was so helpful for me to hear how she and her sister have tension b/c of how they are in the world. Her sister is a 3. Glennon feels judged for not doing enough b/c her work is a lot of inner work. Working to understand herself and her feelings is the work, but it is work that people cannot see when you are looking for external output to prove you have done the work. Her sister is not judging her by the way, she needs Glennon to understand that she likes to strive and is not needing to sit down and process her feelings all the time. I hear that too! LOL!

But here is what I learned about 4s that I now can look back and realize has always been true about me: 4s like deep discussions. We are here for the dialogue. And to dismiss that as not doing holy work is a huge misstep. Let me explain (oh, 4s like to over-explain. I am working on that, but this is not from trauma so I will carry on).

During my three years in seminary, I did a lot of internal work. What I have done best to contribute to the ongoing work of our faith are things I cannot put on a resume. But I am glad I did it anyway. My healing is important, but I also see the world differently because of this holy work. Just listening to the panel discussion on public schools, I can hear something deeper going on in humanity that I would love to explore more. I would like to have a dialogue about this. 🙂

I can hear and see things others cannot. This does not put me over or under anybody. This is the hard work I have done to learn how to do. My trauma is now the source of light leading me on a path toward healing, not destruction or creating insiders and outsiders. In the same way I need to improve my writing and thinking skills, it is time for me to be able to say that as a whole community we need to rethink what it means to be human. Too many are walking around disconnected from their emotions and it is a problem that could destroy us all. It is that serious. I think theology has something to say here.

This is why I like scripture so much. The stories in scripture give us a common place to meet as a Christian community–this post is aimed at Christians but can be adapted in other ways–and find ourselves in the story we are discussing. Jonathan Martin said this in a sermon recently: we do not need more certainty. We need to destabilize. Scripture destabilizes us to a point that trust is necessary.

That is a word!

What if these stories in scripture allow people with different experiences be able to share their stories in a way we can understand more clearly through the commonality we have in scripture? Sharing our stories is how we heal. Scripture creates space for this dialogue. No wonder why I love scripture so much.

Madeleine L’Engle says this: We need to be gentle with each other. Beyond brutality, the only thing that works is gentleness.

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