I was confusing care with treatment



“I was confusing care with treatment”

A post with that in the middle is worth a read.  Confusing “care” and “treatment” – and this from a qualified practicing professional?

“People who we had believed weren’t able to speak started speaking,” Thomas said.

This post is about one working with older folks-dementia.  That familiar “the lights are on but no one’s home”  fear which many have at some point:  Will that happen to me? … Will I die to those I love before I die? …  Will I know those I love will still love me?  …  How will that happen? …  How does that work?

The title of the post … “Making lives meaningful in old age”, Otrazhenie … is too specific for me.

Smacks of function and form.

“Meaningful” suggests value is only found in contributing, in functioning as we expect (whatever that means).



But “I was confusing care with treatment” applies to me and how I live with others right now.  Not as a qualified professional but as a human being amongst human beings.  As one who is the same more than I am different.  One who needs no qualifications to “meet you where YOU are”.

One whose “qualifications” can often get in the way.

Confusing care with treatment is something I do right now every day: “You have a problem, let me fix it … You look distracted, let me refocus you …. You are bored, well get off your butt and start living again … You just want to be “heard” – that’s it? .… You don’t want to talk about it – well I can’t help you then … Open up to me – I am on your side … How dare you treat me like that – you make it hard for me to love you … I think you owe me an apology!”

I confuse care with treatment fixing things.

Fixing things is what we do: “Problem, solution, outcome … Don’t thank me – it’s what I do!” And we move on to the next problem.  And where there are no problems to fix we I so often find one: “Are we really as happy as we should be … We seem to be plateauing here … We don’t talk like we used to talk … Are you bored with me us?”

“They laughed their butts off,” Thomas said…. They were so patently incompetent that most everyone dropped their guard and simply pitched in – the residents included… “

Being qualified in God is accepted as a calling, a vocation, a necessary step into being a pastor, a shepherd, a priest , a vicar a minister – one able to lead (those who want to be led).  But what about those who don’t.  Who see no reason or need to be “led” from a Lost World of sin and depravity to a “woke” world of salvation and service?  A world wherein burden and sacrifice figure highly.  Where “fitting-in” becomes even more important than before.  Where “treatment” of the lost soul takes precedence over “care” of another human being.

Religion trains “treatment” – trains fixing things – trains leading the lost to salvation.

“People who we had believed weren’t able to speak started speaking,” Thomas said.



We can all speak.  But we are taught to remain silent.  And (if we are being really honest) the training of qualifications in God demand silence.

Demand the leader leads and the led listen.  For what use is a shepherd if the sheep are all over the place?  Isn’t that where the old anecdote about a shepherd breaking the leg of a rebellious flock-member so the rest of the flock can be kept safe comes from … ?

That is “treatment”.



None of us have to be qualified to be “qualified” …

Love IS the great leveller.

Which is why Love is ALWAYS the greatest of these.



Where is unconditional love – (I)

For a brief period of my life I was the minute-taker for our Church Council (official) meetings. The following council always began with a review of the minutes of the previous council. Spelling errors were highlighted. Recorded “points” were corrected. Occasionally something was queried as being “best left out of” the minutes. And then – when all was done – the ritual of closure in formal record keeping:

“Do we all, therefore, approve the minutes as a complete and accurate record of … “

We like our official meetings to be true and accurate.  They never are. They are always the record we want. Which always has me wondering: Just what is the Godly purpose of this whole “formal record keeping road-show”?

It is certainly a legal requirement – each church (in this denomination) being its own legal entity. And must, therefore, satisfy the accountants and charity commissioners that it is being operated legally and lawfully. But just what is the “Godly purpose”?

“When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.  Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.   Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.  Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:1-12

I have always read my bible as “minutes”. A “complete and accurate record” of the Word of God. It’s how the bible is taught, how it’s passed on from generation to generation, from believer to believer.  And every Sunday the bible is taught just like agreeing the “minutes”.  With one massive difference.

The bible is a transcript. The bible is taught as “that is what Jesus (or God in the Old Testament – if we must) actually said”.

And like a good Christian I never realised I was questioning that.  I just spent years “hearing” the tonality of the speech, the rhythm, the timbre.  I just spent years trying my utmost to “hear” my God Soft Hands Jesus in this “transcript” – and He worked with me (I later found out).   Yet all that assumes the “transcript of the bible” – assumes that the Word of God is “the words of god” in the bible.


I would never view the “minutes” (particularly the minutes I had taken) as a “transcript”.  The minutes always present someone’s version of how the meeting was conducted: “No need to minute this Paul … “ and “Make sure this is how the minutes read, please … “ or after the minutes have been tidied and are being previewed … “I can’t remember who said that or not – so just delete that bit …” and even “I am sure we didn’t mean it that way – please write it this way …”

And yet here we are today …

Examining the very sentence construction of Jesus’ words: “THE Beatitudes!”  Slicing and dicing the very syllables. Dismissing each other for not agreeing with my version of my transcript. Taking issue with someone else’s version of their transcript.  We read the bible as a script for a play.  A script we dare not change.

Other than the multiple versions written and rewritten over the years. “That” does not count as “rewriting the script” (unless we hate “that version” in preference to “this version” – because (oddly) the version we prefer is always the one “true to God”)

And because of “that” we read the very words of God (or Jesus – who is easier on the ear) with total awe and reverence – we teach the bible in that same way (I know – I was in training) – we teach the bible as we explain a precious museum piece:  You can look but not touch – I am the expert – I am qualified in God.   And we do a script reading every Sunday – all are welcome!

Where is love. Where is unconditional love.

Where is love without all those conditions we so “lovingly” add to the purest most fulfilling love of all?  Doesn’t that simply tarnish what is ALREADY available and waiting for each of us in its purest loving form?

(to be continued … )

Restored to a forfeited condition


That word says so much about us. What training have we had, what exams have we passed, what trust should be put in us now we are qualified … and the division is seeded.


He is not qualified to do this, she should get some qualifications, why do I have to be qualified – it’s only a piece of paper … and on and on.


Has this exact problem: seminary training, theological training, the institution’s demand for “knowledge about” on the assumption that “knowledge of” is the minister’s problem – because the training and assessment will weed out those who have “not found the right God” already.


A qualified leader, shepherd, whatever you name you use – and an unqualified flock, congregation, called out something. A divine relationship made for heaven. A relationship relying on God to fix the shortcomings. That fixing relying on the fix-ees realising they need fixing, accepting they need fixing, and actively participating in the fixing (or saving and relationship as we more usually call this).


There is an assumption of “allowings” necessary in this cobbled together kind of pathway to heaven. And if one party sees no need for “allowing” – then the pathway to heaven is strewn with good intentions tripping up others along the way – which becomes a very narrow and bumpy road indeed (or salvation and relationship as we more usually call this).

“Jesus also told them a parable: “Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit? A disciple is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully qualified will be like the teacher. Why do you see the speck in your neighbour’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbour, ‘Friend, let me take out the speck in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbour’s eye.”” Luke 6:39-42

There it is: “ … everyone who is fully qualified will be like the teacher.”

From out of the mouth of The Teacher Himself.

Which counts me out – I am not fully qualified (or even partially qualified).

Oh well, let’s all leave to those who are (and we are taught that as well).

Hiya God, good to see you again – how are You doing this fine morning … ?

This morning God Soft Hands Jesus took me to Mounce and the Greek version of that word.  And as I am not fully qualified – I simply followed His lead.  Here is what “the Mounce version” has to say:

“… but everyone when fully prepared will be like his teacher”

And that word “prepared” – καταρτίζω (katartizō) – means this according to where GSHJ guided:

to adjust thoroughly; to knit together, unite completely, to prepare, provide, to qualify fully, to complete in character, fit, ripe, to repair, refit, to supply, make good, to restore to a forfeited condition, to reinstate.

“to restore to a forfeited condition”

Qualified – fully qualified – becomes not bits of paper …. becomes “fully prepared” (by Who if not The Teacher?) … becomes “restored to a forfeited condition” (by Who if not restored by The Teacher?).

A forfeited condition.

Life before allowing God. Life before allowing God to indwell. Life before allowing God Soft Hands Jesus to become “my better half”. Life before allowing me to become what I am today. And tomorrow and the day after and the day after that.

So long as I keep “allowing” my “forfeited condition” to become my real “living and loving condition” – my daily condition – my true condition: Him in me and me in Him – not for my benefit – my salvation – my life ever after … not that “only” …

But because that is contagious – it is a virus – it is the condition we each have forfeited. It is a condition we each deserve to have restored in an abundance of diversity. That rich abundance He creates in the very “lost world” we inhabit.

So some call it “Love”, some call it names our “fully qualified” institutions say is “not the right God”, some of us say is “not the right God”, all of us (!!) say is “not the right church” – and we tend to leave it to others (the ones who are qualified) to tell us “what is right and what is not” …

And in so doing  … ?   We forfeit our “true condition” again – and again – and again … Because we do not “allow” the very God we are arguing about.

God Soft Hands Jesus (or whatever your name and religion) does not demand pieces of paper.

He allows each of us to become One with Him. One in Him. And whether we accept that invitation or not … He is abundant in each of us – just waiting to blossom with us when we are ready to blossom with Him. Each of us. No matter the name we give Him.

He simply desires our “forfeited condition” to be restored to our empowering and liberating and loving reality.

Guess what?

If you do, if you have, if you are … that means (to the unqualified me) that YOU are like The Teacher!  YOU have the contagion!  I am like The Teacher – I have the contagion!

Because Love is like God – too big to be made safe, to be boxed, to be tucked away  in a neat cupboard: Love IS the answer – all we have to do is to allow ourselves to be restored in Love. Unconditional Love – universally similar, universally abundant, universally liberating, and universally uniting.

Do you serve the “right God” in the “right way”?

I do!

Then why not allow others to do the same in “their way” with “their God: also being restored to a “forfeited condition”.  What have you to lose?  What have you to gain?

So why not allow each to allow Him … why not allow yourself to allow Him … and allow me to allow Him … unconditionally universally and lovingly.  Just as He Loves.

That is light overcoming your own darkness, my own darkness – that is restoring (to a forfeited condition).

And that is uniting.  Because that is Love.  One Love that connects all.

Because that is what Love “does”.