I wrote the other day about our Soothe Me Languages – something like our Love Languages but with more intoxicants. It feels like (and “feels like” are the operative words here) that many of us are walking around in pain. There’s the “I’ve been brutally hit” pain. There’s the “something’s not quite right” pain. And there’s everything in between.
Pastors may or may not have training in trauma care, but – whether we do or we don’t – we will encounter trauma if we are approachable, trustworthy leaders. A good pastor is the keeper of other people’s lives: the divorces, the infertility, the heartbreaks, the mental breaks, and – yes – even the addictions. We try to soothe God’s people with reassurance and presence. We too need soothing.
All intoxicants are problematic if we go too far – including exercise. But many of us – people who are pastors and people who need pastors – find that sugar, alcohol, narcotics, and caffeine are easy friends when we need to numb out swiftly.
Recovery Ministries – thank God – have normalized the truth that we are all hot messes. We are all broken. This is so refreshing in places where it’s not okay to appear less than perfect. (I’m looking at you Intragram.)
I’m not anti-intoxicant. Remember that Jesus himself was a wine-drinker and I’m guessing he was also a sucker for Lilies of the Field. They smell amazing.
And yet we need to take an honest look at our intoxicant intake. Even too many flowers cause an allergic reaction.