Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

Dreaming About a Better World…

Written by: on March 25, 2020

My heart is broken this week as I come face-to-face with so much grief and disillusionment.  Working as a Hospice Chaplain and Bereavement Director has been an overwhelming adventure during these trying times.  Patients are dying, but people cannot come together to grieve.  This crisis has flipped the world upside down with regards to helping bereaved reach out to support groups.  This can only be done now over the phone.  How do I help these individuals find peace within the firestorm surrounding their lives?  Sometimes, there is anger at God when there is loss, so I always walk a tightrope, making sure they are ready to actually grasp their Savior’s great love for them.  At times, they are just not ready.  So, my current role is helping them grieve by themselves, which is not the best scenario in any way.

This coronavirus situation is so devastating for everyone in this world.  It can’t be understood where it came from or why.  This world is not a perfect place!  But the actions of the leaders could have diverted some of this situation, if only they hadn’t walked in denial.  For this to become a political cause, though, is just not a fact.  It’s not the fault of republicans or democrats; it’s the fact that sometimes – life sucks!

There is no perfect identity, but I think the world wants to believe there is.  Republicans aren’t perfect and democrats aren’t perfect.  So, what does that leave us in today’s political climate?  A world of imperfection!  When we strike out at political beliefs different than ours (or religious beliefs or gender differences or sexual preferences or race differences, etc.), we are only weakening our own identity.

Identity was an interesting read.  Per Fukuyama, people’s happiness is driven more by relative rather than absolute levels of income and by social recognition.  In an interview with the Washington Post, Fukuyama explained:

“Many who vote for populist politicians feels they have been invisible to elites who are indifferent to their struggles and ready to favor immigrants, minorities and others “less deserving.”  This perception is untrue but lies behind much of the anger from members of former majority populations.  This is why Brexit voters were willing to risk economic costs as long as they could “get their country back” and why Trump voters are often happy with his confrontational anti-elite rhetoric in the absence of concrete socio-economic gains for themselves.”[1]

In The Road Back To You, the author focuses her book on the Enneagram to help understand ourselves and each other better.  The author explores that not only do you learn more about yourself, but you will also start to see the world through other people’s views, understanding how and why people think, feel and act the way they do.[2]  Although we can never change others, we can change our perception and view of the world by ‘walking in the moccasins’ of others and seeing the world through their eyes.  Wouldn’t the world be an amazing place if we could feel the heartbeat of each other – and love through a truly open heart?  We can only dream…

[1] Francis Fukuyama, Identity: the Demand for Dignity and the politics of Resentment (New York: Picador, 2019).

[2] Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile, The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self Discovery (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2016).

About the Author

Nancy VanderRoest

Nancy is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and fulfills God's calling on her life by serving as a Chaplain & Counselor with Hospice. In her spare time, Nancy works with the anti-human trafficking coalition in her local community.

2 responses to “Dreaming About a Better World…”

  1. Jenn Burnett says:

    Nancy I am sure this is a very difficult time for you in your work. I pray that you might be strengthened for this sacred task. It has been said that times of trial bring out both the best and worst in humanity. I’ll be honest that I have been so encouraged that our government has been collaborating well and that people who have been generally opposed to one another have been coming together. What do you think it would take for your politicians to shift in this direction? Do you find that on the ground people are coming together across difference well? Bless you!

  2. Nancy VanderRoest says:

    Hi Jenn. I realized I never responded to your post. What a rough journey, eh? Our political leader (Prez Trump) is confused, disillusioned, and sadly mistaken about most decisions, so we’re in a bit of a mess here in the good ‘ole USA. But I do think people are coming together to support one another, which is a beautiful thing. I see faith growing through prayer and meditation, I see helping hands reaching out to make a difference, and I see family connections taking place. I always look for the messages within the messes and there are many positive things happening in this confused world. Blessings back at you, my friend!

Leave a Reply