Religious But Not Spiritual

Cross-posted from Carter’s personal blog Rambling Rambles.

I have been fighting a loosing battle all summer.  See this summer I am taking a unit of CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education, or a chaplain internship) at Wake Forest Baptist Health (yep the name has changed again!).  Over all, it has been a great experience.

However, I have been fighting this battle that I know I am loosing.  Namely the battle to continue to pretend that I don’t have feelings.  It isn’t that I don’t have feelings, or even think that I don’t have them, it is just that I don’t communicate that way.  When I take the Myers-Briggs type indicator, I am off the charts as a T(hinker) over F(eeler).  While I have feelings, I just don’t know how to process and express data in that way.  You are a lot more likely to hear the words “I think” come out of my mouth than “I feel.”  And the rare times that I do say “I feel,” I really mean “I think.”  However, the overwhelming opinion is that I have feelings, I just don’t have the language to express them.

This general distrust of feeling has meant that I have a really hard time connecting with the “mystical” tradition of Christianity.  While I know that it is there, and I know that it is legitimate, it just doesn’t do much for me.  To me it often seems to be just one big navel gazing party, a never-ending quest to reach something within while the world without groans under the weight of systemic sin and oppression.

However, I am reminded of this post from a little less than a year ago.  And I think that if anything this experience at the hospital is teaching me that there are things that I just can’t explain.  Babies who go home with their parents while the Doctors ponder how it can be.  Families that are able to find peace in death through prayer.  The passing of life from one person to another through organ and tissue transplants.  Non-responsive patients responding to touch, to prayer, letting their families know that they are leaving.  The infinite mystery of death.

I’m still skeptical of the supernatural.  I still don’t believe in “faith-healers.”  Feelings are still feel amorphous and yicky (and yes that is a scientific term).

But maybe, just maybe, I am becoming a little more spiritual.


One response to “Religious But Not Spiritual

  1. I do this too. Sometimes it explodes and I go home and I cry. I didnt know you were dong CPE!!!!! THATS awesome, you have call me and tell me all about it

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