Lisa is my wife. She is a member of TLS, but she is not a very active member. That is, she doesn’t post on TLS much if at all. She might make an occasional comment. But essentially she does not interact in our community.
Maybe you’re wondering why. I’m going to tell you right now.
First of all, she’s not much of a Facebook or social media person anyway. She mainly uses Facebook to keep up with what our kids are doing. So, that’s a secondary reason why you don’t see Lisa much in TLS or on Facebook or anywhere else for that matter.
But here’s the primary reason you don’t see much of her. Have you heard of “vicarious suffering”? That’s when someone you love is suffering and you suffer with them, but in a sense it is even worse for you because you are powerless to do anything about it.
This is what Lisa experiences with me. She experienced it when I went through my struggles in ministry. She experiences it when I endure my struggles with TLS… when we’ve had them. She suffers very deeply when I’m being attacked or bullied or publicly criticized or shamed. It’s very difficult for her and she can’t stand it.
Lisa is a very gentle soul. She’s very quiet and unassuming. She has a strong personality and mind, but she wouldn’t dare put herself out there. She loves me and our kids, has a few friends, and prefers very small and intimate gatherings over parties.
So, when it comes to what I do with nakedpastor and The Lasting Supper, she finds it so much easier when she keeps her distance from the actual struggles and just supports me behind the lines. It’s not that she’s in denial or escaping. On the contrary! It’s that she knows how to care for herself in a way that she can better care for me when the need arises. She knows that if she was embroiled in a conflict that her ability to care for me would be compromised and deteriorate over time. She hates dealing with conflict more than I do, so she stays out of it so that I can do it well.
Don’t get me wrong. She’s not in the dark. She knows what’s going on. She knows who you are. She often asks how so-and-so is doing. She knows when I say, “Oh… you know ______? Well, she…” and she knows who I’m talking about and follows with interest. She cares for TLS and TLSers.
Just a note: If any TLSers are passing through our area, if she can, she will be with me to meet you and hang out. If she can.
She’s my island of reality. When we went through a major conflict in TLS in the spring, she was able to provide objective, wise, and emotionally unentangled comfort and perspective. I was so happy that she had the strength to do that because I wouldn’t have survived without it.
It’s really true. I wouldn’t be who I am if she wasn’t who she is. I like her strategy. She really does help me keep on doing what I’m passionate about. She’s like my M.A.S.H. unit where I go to get patched up for the next sortie.
She is a palliative care nurse. This says a lot about her personality. She helps people suffer well. Including me.
Plus she’s the love of my life. There’s that.
Anyway, if you were wondering where the heck Lisa was, now you know.
(I used this picture from our BC days (Before Children) to show how she’s always been my support, as I’ve been hers.)
Peace, joy, and love, my friends.