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Admitting what terrifies us and allowing God to heal

Admitting what terrifies us and allowing God to heal

Rhonda Mawhood Lee had a fear of singing in public and in overcoming her phobia she learned “to trust God’s power to heal a small yet deeply felt past hurt, {and] understood anew our Christian proclamation that strength is found in vulnerability.”

Read her story at Duke’s Faith and Leadership blog:

I chanted. The people chanted back. And God was worshipped. The 11 a.m. Eucharist was easier than the 8 a.m., and I’ve become even more relaxed in the Sundays since.

This Lenten discipline and Easter celebration taught me much more than self-hypnosis skills. As I learned to trust God’s power to heal a small yet deeply felt past hurt, I understood anew our Christian proclamation that strength is found in vulnerability. As an ordained leader, I embodied that truth in a new way, allowing my parishioners to witness me doing something that many knew had terrified me.

Now, I wonder: Where else in my ministry might I risk being more vulnerable? Where might I admit that my skill isn’t sufficient for the challenge at hand, that no matter how hard I try, I can’t find a solution on my own?

Where have I been seeking a panacea — beta blockers for the church — that will simply mask symptoms rather than address the root causes of whatever’s making me or my congregation uncomfortable or frightened? What new joys might be in store for congregations and lay and ordained leaders if we will admit what most terrifies us and ask God to work through it for God’s own healing purposes?


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L. Celeste Gardner

I’m a member of St. Philip’s and really enjoy Rhonda’s singing of the Eucharistic prayer. She has a sweet voice, and her confidence is clearly growing each time she sings. We need to give up the idea that you have to have a Canterbury-worthy voice, skill or technique in order to sing in church. The individuality of each voice helps us know that everyone has an important role to play – not just the beautiful, the talented and the strong. May her courage be an example to all of us. Her singing is definitely a blessing.

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