Floor Therapy

There were simply not enough hours in the day. One answered email prompted multiple responses, which then needed to be addressed. Multiply that by hundreds of emails waiting in my inbox. The aftermath of a huge event had taken its toll. Fatigue and exhaustion had engulfed my body. A problem I could not resolve was the last straw. I could feel the darkness of pervasive sadness and weariness threaten to consume my spirit.

It takes a great deal to get me to that point. I’m pretty positive by nature. Yet that’s where I found myself the afternoon I slipped into her office. My back hit the wall and I slid to the floor. I guess it was apparent something was amiss. She quietly rose from her chair and joined me on the floor. 

She showed no outward appearances of baring resentment for the interruption. Her hours had been as long as mine. She kindly offered attention without a trace of judgment. I don’t remember what counsel she offered at that particular moment in time. I am sure it was right on target because she always measures her words carefully and speaks with great wisdom that belies her age.

What lingers to this day is how it felt. She took time from her busy schedule. She sat on the floor and looked me in the eye. She listened intently. The presenting problem and situation did not change, but I did. After an hour of floor therapy, I felt strangely rested and refreshed, able to return to the tasks at hand.

Missions leaders are not immune to disappointments and melancholy. From time to time, despair may even knock at the door. There is a missionary or missions leader near you who could very well benefit from floor therapy or chocolate therapy or retail therapy or casual-time-with-a-friend therapy. The word therapy may not be the correct psychosocial term in this instance, but I think you understand my meaning. Microvacations can provide spiritual and psychological benefits, such as relaxation and rejuvenation. Of course if someone you know is experiencing mental health issues, connect him or her to professional help and provide support as needed.

Find ways to interface with missionaries and missions advocates. Touch base regularly. Listening is an incredible gift that costs you nothing but time. So talk less and listen more. Be fully present. You don’t have to “fix” anything. Your personal presence and attention is all that’s needed. And it may very well give them courage to take the next step on their journey.


Father,

Even extreme introverts like me recognize the need for community. You created us to connect in meaningful ways with others made in Your image. Thank You for trusted and treasured friends who allow me to be honest and transparent without fear of judgment. They are a gift. Help me to be that kind of friend. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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