"We put no stumbling block in anyone's path, so that our ministry will not be discredited."
~ 2 Corinthians 6: 3
In chaplaincy, we often would refer to our role as a "non-anxious presence" when it comes to being on the journey with those around us. It also allows for "journeying with," even when it's not exactly easy when the person is very different from my own life or beliefs.
It's in those moments that I recognize just how important these relationships really are, even when the moment is one filled with unknowns, while remaining calm, letting the person know that you will remain no matter what.
Similarly, it is important for each of us to be a "nonjudgmental presence" for those who have experienced woundedness, or who are different than us.
Each of us have been reconciled with God, and because of Christ, each of us are instruments of reconciliation.
Additionally, each of us can find a way to be present for one another. Essential to the work of reconciliation is at some point being a nonjudgmental presence.
We are not sent into the world to judge, to condemn, to evaluate, to classify, or to label. When we walk around as if we have to make up our mind about people and tell them what is wrong with them and how they should change, we will only create more division.
Jesus says it clearly: "Be compassionate just as your Father is compassionate. Do not judge; ... do not condemn; ... forgive" (Luke 6:36-37).
In a world that constantly requires us to make decisions about others, being a nonjudgmental presence can seem like a daunting task.
Being a nonjudgmental presence is truly a blessing to others who long for reconciliation with God and others.
It is a reminder to each of us of God's amazing ability to love each of us where we currently are while reminding us to Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2018
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.