AS a workplace chaplain I am often called on to support people who are suffering or in need of special care.
This may involve simply listening to them deeply, without judgment, which calls to mind St Benedict’s motif “listen with the ear of your heart”.
This includes compassionate care of senior leaders and managers who need someone who they can talk to, “in confidence”, about their hopes, dreams, actions and particularly their losses.
Especially in these troubled economic times they are regularly stretched by having to do more with less, resource-wise, and get more performance out of their teams.
When things go less well, or there are redundancies or other sudden and painful changes, the sense of failure or dismay often leads to much questioning, burnout and even breakdown.
You may have noticed a co-worker or even a boss who is emotional, perhaps loses it or seems down; there are many manifestations of pain and suffering.
I know some who keep going against all odds in the same old ways trying to hold on to power or authority long after others have noticed that something is amiss and needs a new form of care and listening.
This is precisely the time when the risen Christ can enter into this woundedness.
As a counsellor I see those who struggle with the challenges of work and particularly in mid-life when some name what choices and actions once worked at work don’t seem to work anymore.
What also strikes me is that alongside much anguish and pain there is often deep and unexpected life-changing spiritual experiences associated with the middle years that we as a Church could engage with and reach out to – be it loss of power, pain, burnout or other trials.
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