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Module 3Holding up the mirror - for Clergy

To see and reach out to congregants, clergy may first have to look within themselves.

The Rev. Dr. Ronald David (Department of Pastoral Care, the Hospital of the Good Samaritan, Los Angeles, California) provided the eloquent words on the next several pages of this module to help with that inward look. After reading Dr. David's essay, you will be asked to answer a short questionnaire. (Click here to download a PDF version of the essay.)

Sitting Shiva in the Wake of SIDS:
Reflections of a Physician and Priest

“Now when Job’s three friends heard all these troubles that had come upon him, each of them set out from his home - Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. They met together to go and console and comfort him. When they saw him from a distance, they did not recognize him, and they raised their voices and wept aloud, they tore their robes and threw dust in the air upon their heads. They sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great.

Job 2:11-13, New Revised Standard Version, Holy Bible

In the well known biblical story of Job we are told that his three friends, having heard of his tragedies, set out to “console and comfort him.” Their good intention is to be of help. Then, as they come upon Job and bear direct witness to the gravity of his grief, they are stunned into silence. Fully attuned to their dear friend’s emotional state, they can only pantomime Job’s unbearable sorrow by tearing their garments and tossing dust in the air.

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