Page 9 - EMCAPP-Journal No. 17
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Paul Loosemore

                                        Dr Paul Loosemore is an Assistant Professor of Counseling at Co-
                                        venant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, USA. His research and
                                        writing  investigates  both  practical  application,  and  theory  sur-
                                        rounding  Christian  Psychology  and  counseling.  Paul  is  also  the
                                        clinical director of Covenant’s counseling center and maintains a
                                        clinical private practice.

             Situating Grief in Redemptive                     that supplied our baseline happiness stop
                                                               working or wilt. For example, how do you
             History for the Sake of Joy                       feel when your cell phone stops working,

                                                               your  coffee  spills,  the  meal  isn’t  ideal,  or
             We consistently experience the loss of eve-       your special someone shifts their attention
             ry-day-good-things; flowers, a good meal, or      to something else?
             time with friends. Redemptive History pro-        This  condition  is  not  new.  Oswald  Cham-
             vides a context within which to understand        bers  (1935)  pointed  out  the  dynamics  of
             our lives and the ebb and flow of pleasure        demand in human relationships, and I sug-
             and sorrow. We explore this context, and          gest his observations also apply to every-
             then demonstrate how therapists can assist        day objects and experiences:
             clients to develop an accurate Redemptive         If we love a human being [or experience of
             Historical perspective of gain and loss. The      any kind] and do not love God, we demand
             culmination of this renewed perspective is        of  him  [or  it]  every  perfection  and  every
             increased acceptance of momentary grief,          rectitude, and when we do not get it, we
             fuller experiences of joy, and life strategies    become  cruel  and  vindictive;  we  are  de-
             that align with God’s kingdom.                    manding of a human being [or thing] that
                                                               which he or she [or it] cannot give.
             The Desire for Joy and Relief                     There is only one Being who can satisfy the
             In  the  western  world,  happiness  is  com-     last aching abyss of the human heart and
             monly pursued through consumption and             this is the Lord Jesus Christ. Why our Lord
             experience.  We  come  upon,  and  loose,         is apparently so severe regarding every hu-
             pleasurable  things  on  a  daily  basis.  How    man relationship is because He knows that
             we  interpret  and  interaction  with  loss  si-  every relationship not based on loyalty to
             gnificantly  alters  our  lived  experience.      Himself will end in disaster. (p. 154)
             Take the humble dandelion as an examp-
             le. When I use the blooming yellow flower         Let us return to the dandelion when it is rea-
             to satiate my hunger for joy and pleasure,        dy to seed—wispy and white. It is beautiful,
             I consume it. When the flower wilts, how          but if you breathe heavily or the wind picks
             will I be sustained? Should I find another,       up, it is gone. But you can pick another, and
             and  potentially  more  satisfying  flower?       then another. This is just an example, but
             Consumerism is fueled as we habituate to          the cycle of gain and loss in life provokes
             our  current  comforts.  We  often  long  for     grief. The ebb and flow of everyday life in
             more pleasure, and get immensely frustra-         the  already-and-not-yet  of  the  kingdom
             ted or bitter, when the everyday good-gifts       is  just  like  the  dandelion.  It  comes,  and

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