Monday, April 30, 2018


I occasionally have a quandary picking a title for these posts.  Got an idea what I'm talking about, but to sum it up is just a puzzlement.

First thing that came to mind with the above title were the Keepers in the original Star Trek pilot 'The Cage'.  They were the creatures who had a zoo of different beings because they had evolved yet craved the sensations they had supposedly outgrown.  The captives were kept in place by illusion, one of the 'advanced' characteristics of the Keepers.

There are many kinds of keepers.  There are guards, jailors, police, janitors, repairmen, historians, parents and so many more on many levels/ways. Some nurture while others simply maintain, whatever the case might be.

Counseling has its own rules, especially the type and intensity of same.

I had the privilege and opportunity/responsibility of counseling in relation to my work as a student minister and as a clinical psychology major.  I met many people with varied problems.  Of course, names are confidential and any circumstances which would identify certain people.   But there are cases that should give illustration to my purpose.

Drinking is one of the common denominators.  It is a problem which stems from many variations of core problems.  It become the core.

I've counseled several pastors and parishioners concerning alcohol abuse.

Sometimes it led to further help.  Sometimes not.

Laws force consequences for the results of accidents and other tragic occurrences.  Sometimes that bottoming out works along with an ear.  And again sometimes not.  The person really has to face the problem and want to change.

That is the counseling challenge.  So many want you to take them by the hand and solve their problems for them..  Taint that way McGee.  A good counselor will work through and point out things.  But the solution is in the hands of the client.

Of course, there are profound 'mental problems' which need further and constant care or keeping.  Profound retardation, compulsions and just about anything that gets in the way of a healthy life demand such care. 

We get into retardation as being different than criminal activity.  That lies in the legal realm as well.  But mental illness as well can be so crippling it demands lifelong supervision.

It can also be evil.  That's a whole other ballgame and surely lies in the area of ministry.

I straddled both clinical psych and ministry.  What a tightrope.

Suffice it to say that should be addressed another time.  But one point about keeping, be it confidentiality or honorable pursuits, it's a two edged sword.

When people are in certain positions, such as ministry or police work, knowing their secret sins/problems is part of the work.  However, they can be protective of reputation, in spite of that.

It has led to some hiding behind a collar or a badge, keeping appearances, while they work out problems or don't.

One can be seen as an embarrassment to them.  This indicates to me they are not dealing as well as they should.

They have nothing to fear but themselves.  Sometimes that memory jog is because they project onto the counselor as they might another.

The records are locked away.  The problems are confidential.  There is no skeleton clattering or ghost haunting except a prison of their own device.

They have been saved from suicide, serial cheating, drinking, what have you.

Yet they don't feel safe unless they smear someone else.  This indicates more profundity of problem yet to be resolved.  Or they are psychopathic and need one of those literal keepers.

As for me and my work, it is kept locked safely away.  It is kept in heart and mind.

The best thing for all to keep is love and resolve in heart and mind.

Don't be kept afraid.

No comments: