Monday, December 15, 2008

Adult Ed - An Advent Reflection

So I had been tagged to teach an Adult Ed Advent Reflection prior to my camel's broken back moment; by the time I actually had to teach it I was in recovery.

I struggled with what I could possibly say - what could I reflect upon that wouldn't ooze anger, pain, and confusion. What could I say without turning the class into JSD's personal rant and/or therapy moment.

So, I went the safe route...I turned to my books looked up the meaning of Advent, then my commentary to look up what it had to say about the readings, and left my reflections on the light (read detached side). And since I'm just beginnging to regain my shaky spiritual equalibrium I stuck to this plan.

I went through the readings and my monologue and then opened it up for questions. In the end the piece that caught people where two things I hadn't even thought to discuss which was the church calendar overlaying our secular calendar and what a gift that had been for me. And the second topic was about rules of life which was sort of planned for because of 1 Thes.'s reading (a 91 word pocket rule-of-life) but not to the detail that I went into.

But, for three people they heard something they needed to hear. Person one to the wife, "tell JSD that her class was really good and she's left me with lots of questions to think about". Person two, what's a rule of does it work. I think that's just what I'm looking for, that might be it to her husband. Person three, I should have been in here. I'm sorry I came in late. I was having these other conversations but what I needed to hear was you. This was so real, it was really real.

All I can say to them all is thank you. I felt that their comments afterwards gave me more then I could possibly have given in my class written from a place of pain looking for safety, but well really it was the conversation outside that framework that I think maybe made connections...cause I was speaking from my own unguarded self...talking about relationships...and perhaps in time and in some other space talking about one's wounds will feel ok here.

In a totally different conversation the day before I told a fellow EFMer what it was I couldn't share at EFM. It shocked her cause she's discerning too, but she listened. And when I said I just don't know how honest to be in those things (touch base time), she replied, yeah me neither - I thought it was really brave of you to say that there was something so painful that you couldn't talk about it was really brave. I laughed and told her thank you because I had felt like a really big chicken.

There's alot here for me to distill through. Peace into the fourth week of advent.


Lee said...

Awesome! Wish I had a copy of your reflection notes. And what I'd have given to be a fly on the wall. Congratulations on the good feedback and connections made. Guess you won't alway know what works but I hope you keep getting those. A lot!


jsd said...

lee: thank you...i can send my notes to you, but there's really not much there. i hope so too :-)

murat11 said...

Peace to you, sister. The beauty of classes: two, three, four, and five-way streets.

jsd said...

murat: amen my brother.

San said...

Well, my ears would definitely prick up if somebody started to talk about a rule of life.

I'm glad you received the three gifts from members of your audience. Somehow that number, coming during this season in particular, seems fraught with significance. Perhaps a message that you are doing better than you'd thought?

jsd said...

san: i'd like to think so...a lady i've come to respect gave the last reminded me of home, and i thought how brave...i want to feel brave again, be me again...willing to share myself and let come what may.