People have told me things that would shock you right into next week. It's an occupational reality in being a Pastor. I remember sitting in a Pastoral Counseling class in Bible in college and hearing the professor, who seemed as old as the Bible itself, instruct us on the necessity of not appearing surprised upon hearing the indiscretions of our congregants. Little stayed with me from that class except for his comment that day. God knew I would need it for future use.
I realize that when it comes to confession those who come to unburden their souls are looking for help, mercy, grace, freedom, forgiveness. They just don't know it yet. They know they are filled with pain, guilt, shame, frustration and the burden they've been carrying has become unbearable.
Every story has a similar vibe. “I was ________ so I _________ and now I feel _________. What do I do now?”
Scared, vulnerable, hurting, hopeful they wait for a response. In those seconds of silence before I even speak a word they are wondering if it was worth the risk to share their dark secrets with another living breathing human.
It's a holy moment.
It's a healing moment.