Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Becoming Weaker: Jean Vanier helps me remember why I started this jobin the first place...

So I can't talk to much about what I do for a job because of confidentiality laws/agreements/etc. I can speak about what this job has meant to me and has shown me about myself:
I am a privileged and downright selfish person.
I work with adult with developmental disabilities in a capacity that has an extrodinary turn over rate. The stress is at times near maddening. Jean Vanier, a Catholic priest has been one of the voices that has been in the background, so to speak, for the last 2 years as I've been doing this work. I work in a company that reflects what I would describe as the better end of status-quo social servies for the disabled. I help clients with things they aren't able to do for themselves. That's not a bad thing, but as I regularly feel burnt out I try and think of the standard that the L'Arche communities (and others like them) have strived for: a blurring of the line that separates those doing the caring and those being "cared for". I don't live with my clients and there are fairly clear power relations layed out here...and yet... Vanier (and more recently Richard Beck) has been one of the people who has reminded me of all this job has to teach me, having a college degree does not elevate me above whiping bums or giving supositories or being asked to assist with helping someone rearange their CD collection for the 4th time today (all just hypothetical examples and aren't meant to describe any particular person I do, or have worked with in the past) and I'm meeting Jesus in "the least of these"

Become Weaker from The Work Of The People on Vimeo.


  1. WOW...thanks for sharing this!

    I am reading Vanier's "Becoming Human" and admittedly am having problems wrapping my head [and heart] around it. This was an awesome video!

    Blessings to you...

  2. Thanks John,
    The post I linked to from Richard Beck's page Experimental Theology is also really worth the read (I will admit, I teared up a little on that one as it reminded me of someone I know and care very deeply about). I went and threw your blog on my feeder too (loved the cartoon of Jesus delivering the Sermon on the Mount).