Reflections on “Making Space” – Pohl


  •  Keeping them
  • When to release others/ourselves
  • If viewed with scepticism then empty

Important to follow through on commitments that have been made – big or small – be explicit.

The practice of patience and accompaniment – what is the bigger picture we are all called to?

Commit to a slow process and working it out together.

Vanier – more I live in community life, most problems are never resolved but with time and listening stop being a problem… but there’s always another problem.

Listen. See it out in the open àlooks different.

Truth-teller to yourself – ask others to do that. What is the agenda? Is keeping the promise for me or for you?

Miss the value of what is different when we try and colonise.

Ability to listen and be brave – Andreana’s blog

Dewey – all communities will fail if they don’t have a single missional purpose.


Some of my most painful experiences in community (and most powerful and transformative experiences of grace) have been in realising a need to release myself or others of a commitment we have made – can you think of examples of this in your own life? are there ways to learn to recognise this sooner, for ourselves and others , to work for “making space” before there is hurt or a sense betrayal?

 What is the bigger picture we are called to? This is to love each other well – and sometimes that means letting go. Keeping people bound to us by a promise when we should release them can be selfish or even abusive. Using language that assigns blame for break down in this scenario can add layers to that if a person feels guilt for ‘breaking’ a promise and how that affects others. If you release someone from a promise that has a completely different feeling than them ‘breaking’ the promise because they may be in a position where they feel they have no other choice. Ask them, what is the bigger picture they are being called to? It may not be leaving/breaking to go FROM something but to go TO something. Loving one another well is hearing that and supporting it to happen. How many relationships are ending in divorce because it’s so hard to negotiate loving one another well and keeping the larger picture we’re called to in view over resisting change that challenges our own point of view of how things should be. “Commit to a slow process, working it out together. Listen. See it out in the open – looks different.”


What does it mean to be a “truth-teller” to yourself? ‘I am a good person.’ Is that true?

‘I am a generous person’

‘I am a selfish person’

‘I am a good friend’

Pick a statement, one of these or your own, and spend 3-5 mins writing or thinking about the answer. Argue it. Then take the opposing statement ‘I am NOT a good person’ and argue that. Is it black and white? How much does family of origin factor in to some of your practices and responses? Expectations of others and yourself?

Is keeping the promise for me or for you? Think about this in light of the above because our motivations aren’t always clear, to ourselves let alone others.

 You are you and I am me. I cannot expect, and should not try to change, you to respond in a scenario the way that I would myself. My way is not the right way it is just ‘my’ way. Try saying that aloud a few times “My way is not the right way…”