Putting your armour on

October 5, 2010 § Leave a comment

Have just spent the evening with around 20 front-line workers in social care: child protection, looked-after children, ewos, etc. They’ve begun to meet to talk about their work in the context of their Christian faith – all sorts of denominations. Food, discussion, prayer.

I can’t describe how humbling and challenging it is to be in a Bible study on the armour of God in Ephesians 6 with those whose daily work is at the sharp end of the complexities of modern life. One of the group I was in works in mental health, particularly with refugees and asylum-seekers. There was a detached youth worker, someone who worked in safeguarding, and so on. Completely refreshing and deepening to be the listener when such people describe what it is like to confront the evils in society, and to confront it in someone they seek to help.

My thinking out loud was about the nature of armour. It seemed to me that those of us who engage with the vulnerable can only be compassionate if we have the ability to feel their pain and anger…without it dragging us down. Christian armour should protect us from harm, not prevent us from being touched by anything.

We ended with Compline. “Into your hands O Lord I commend my spirit”. Good prayer for anyone in social care. The whole service is!

None of this was my idea. All of it was a blessing.

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