Skip to main content

Revealing our Doubt, Despair, Sadness and Fear

“Ministry is...a mutual experience.... [Jesus] wants Peter to feed his sheep and care for them, not as ‘professionals’ who know their clients’ problems and take care of them, but as vulnerable brothers and sisters who know and are known, who care and are cared for, who forgive and are being forgiven, who love and are being loved.... Laying down your life means making your own faith and doubt, hope and despair, joy and sadness, courage and fear available to others as ways of getting in touch with the Lord of life.”*
This is a difficult thing to do. Most of us don’t want others to see our doubts, despair, sadness and fear. We cover them up because we’re afraid they disqualify us from any role of leadership or ministry. But we are all fallen, broken sinners. The Bible portrays its heroes as flawed people, yet they were given mighty roles in God’s mission for his people. Surely God knew what he was doing.

I’ve been taking a course on a form of prayer that requires the recipients of prayer to be vulnerable and open about their inner lives. As I watch the leaders there I see them as people who are willing to be in either chair—pray-er or prayee. Two nights ago, in fact, one of the trainees was assigned to pray for one of the top leaders. What an example of servant-leadership! I also watch the pastors and leaders of my church living this way and admire them for it. They are far more approachable than those surrounded by an aura of perfection.

I’ve experienced the truth of this in my own life. When I’m willing to talk about my failings and my struggles, it frees others to do the same—and they do. Invariably, when I talk about my struggles with same-sex attraction, someone will come to me to confide that they too have this problem. Why? They know I’m safe because I’ve been there. They know I will have compassion and mercy instead of judgement and condemnation. How can we bear each others’ burdens if we never know what they are?
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Ecclesiastes 4:9, 10

*In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership by Henri J. M. Nouwen. Page 61.


Popular posts from this blog

Monogamous, Homosexual Unions--My Position and the Story behind it

I've been asked to be one of two participants at church each representing opposing views on the matter of monogamous, homosexual unions, moderated by the pastor.  In preparation, I have written the following.  In the comments, please do not post any vitriol--from either side. If I think any comment is hateful, I will delete it. Respectful disagreement or questions are welcome, however.

My Position and Values:
I believe that sexual relations between two people of the same sex is contrary to God’s will.I would like to say otherwise but I find nothing in Scripture that allows me to do so.BEING homosexual, having a longing or desire for someone of the same sex, is not condemned in the Bible.  We all have desires that are contrary to God’s will.  The sin occurs when we feed those desires, like Jesus talks about when he calls lust adultery (Matthew 5:28).Much cruelty to LGBTQ people has happened because of the stance of the Church. We have not acted with love, compassion and listening ear…

What Is Separating me from the Promise?

This is the question Andy Wood asked us each to consider this morning at the end of his sermon and it hit me like a thunderbolt.

Imagine the Jordan River on the eve of the Israelites crossing it into the Promised Land.  The river was at flood stage, so it was moving quickly (even the Red River here in Winnipeg moves quickly during flood season) but this particular stretch of the river near Jericho is narrower than the rest so that as the rushing flood waters reached the point where the people were waiting--all two million of them--it became even more turbulent.  Anyone who's witnessed a flood knows that it doesn't just carry water; there is debris like fallen trees, parts of sheds and houses and perhaps even animals unable to escape the river's grab.

Back in the days of Abraham, God had promised the land of Canaan to him and his descendants but during the days of Abraham's great-grandson, Joseph, the whole family had moved out of the Promised Land to Egypt because of f…

About the Author


I'm married (35 years in December 2008) with four grown sons. I love my city (Winnipeg) and my country (Canada) and promote them both to whoever will listen. God (through Jesus Christ) is the biggest part of my life. I am learning to let him take control of all areas--though I do better at this some times more than others.

I have written a book that's recently been published about part of my journey with God. In it I tell how God confronted me with the same-sex attraction issues I've struggled with all my adult life and how he led me through them to a deeper and more meaningful relationship with him. God is amazing—his forgiveness, his love, his movement in our lives when we allow him and so much more. I suspect God will never run out of things to teach me or ways to make me grow and that’s a good thing (though often very painful).

I suppose I can say that what gives me the greatest pleasure in life is telling others about…