I am reading a version of a paper entitled, “Connecting horizons with Job: Pastoral care (in cooperation with professionals) in the trauma-coping process” by Egbert Brink. In one section he discusses pastoral care responses to the victim’s experience that God was the adversary (such as Job experienced). Mr. Brink cites Job 9:10-12, 9:16-17 where Job feels like God’s hand is the one who is doing the wounding. The victim that Mr. Brink is meeting with says,
Did God do this, did He wound me? My heart says yes, but my mind does not allow that answer….Again; did God wound me? Yes…Okay. That’s what Job feels, and I identify with Job. The next logical step is: what emotions do I have? … This is scary, but the step must be taken. It’s not until you say it, that the emotion can be set free. I can do it, I say: I am disappointed in God, and angry, I think. That last bit isn’t proper, but I can’t help it. Don’t take it too harshly. (p. 16)
Mr. Brink (or is it Dr? I do not know) provides this commentary,
…this is a special moment in trauma coping process…every traumatized person is faced with the question why God let it happen and did not protect him or her. The book of Job grants the necessary space to ask these probing life questions dealing with the mysteries of God. Faith in God’s omnipotence and goodness raises many questions in this context, but also provides space for them. Passionate complaints don’t immediately put God’s omnipotence in question but rather underline it. (ibid, emphasis mine)
And then Mr. Brink says this,
The pastoral task, then, is not to stand in the way of the traumatized client with apologetics, as Job’s friends do. God does not need advocates to plead his case. (ibid, emphasis his)
I found the following Vimeo link (http://vimeo.com/48232843) of Mr. Brink giving a talk on this paper and pastoral case.
One response to “Did God injure me? A great pastoral response”
Great article! Dr Brink’s presentation has been published in a book format. It is available on amazon.com. It is worth buying and reading.
Moussa Bongoyok, PhD.