4. The Praxis of the Guide
Andrea’s “companioning praxis”
Through listening to Andrea I gained the strong impression that central to her guiding and companioning praxis is participation in the flow of a love that is far greater than her own (but includes her own). There is also a capacity to see beauty that finds its origin in her beholding the beauty of her Lord. What is it like, as a pilgrim, to be invited by a companion into that flow of love, and to encounter this reflected beauty within one’s self? You could put yourself in Carol’s shoes and simply notice, along with her, your own inner responses.
Andrea speaks of experiencing how Jesus’ “Come unto me . . .” involved a self-giving, other-receiving and sacrificial love, the type of love that flows out from the Persons of the Trinity through Jesus to us, with all of its reciprocity, surrender, relinquishment, forgiveness, and longing for our healing and wholeness.
Andrea invites the pilgrim to step with her into this love which is far greater than her own. As pilgrims are most often wounded in the area of relationships, a far greater relational love is required for the healing and transformation of such a wound!
It is this great love that Jesus offers to loose the bonds of injustice (including the injustice of others which have so impacted on Carol’s life), undo heavy burdens (that Carol has carried much of her life and kept her running), and let the oppressed go free (in the transforming of her oppressive wound, Carol finds new inner and life-giving freedom)!
Glimpsing the beauty
If you, along with Andrea, were to seek the Lord in his dwelling and to behold His beauty, what reflected beauty might you glimpse as you reached out your heart to this pilgrim (Carol) curled up as she is in obvious pain, with her distressed body pressed against the back of the lounge chair, and with her arms wrapped around a huge cushion, behind which she was hiding her face?
One thing I ask of the LORD,
this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.
For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle
and set me high upon a rock.
(Psalm 27: 4-5, NIV).
Imagine reaching out your heart to Carol, and staying with her throughout her encounter with Andrea. See if you can gain some glimpses of her inner resourcefulness and behold her inner beauty?
Note your response in your journal.