Promote healing by practicing hospitality

Column by T.J. Kimble

Hurt is universal. Humanity has been born for troubles as sure as sparks fly upward. There is plenty of pain for everyone on the planet.

Whether a sickness takes a child away, a tragedy ends a marriage, a surprise diagnosis forever changes a family, natural or manmade disasters turn whole communities into chaotic hubs of controlled mayhem.

The point is families get shattered in the process of all these upward flying sparks.

Who’s left to clean up the aftermath and help people heal and return to some sort of normal? After the dust of destruction settles, how are people supposed to start healing?

The answer has to come in how we treat others, no matter how different from us they might be.

But that’s where the rub comes in. Humans are homogenous by nature and that’s more than half the problem. We naturally surround ourselves with others who are just like us. And whether we’re aware of it or not, we alienate those who aren’t like us.

Let’s be honest, we all do it to some degree and it disqualifies us from being part of the healing process.

Sundays in the U.S. for example, is the most segregated day of the week. And it’s not just racially. It’s also the most doctrinally divided day of the week. People congregate around their beliefs and how they believe; more than who they believe and how that transforms the way they treat others when the sparks are flying in all their faces.

Why is it important and how can anyone attempt such a tall order as helping hurting humanity heal? It really matters because healing is just as universal as hurt.

We don’t always understand how healing works and we’re confused about the people and places it comes from. Healing can come through the most peculiar people, places and simply brilliant acts of life-saving hospitality.

Hospitality is the generous and friendly treatment of visitors. When you drill down deeper into the meaning of the actual word, you find “hospital” at the root.

Real hospitals are the order of the day in this world of universal hurt. And hospitals don’t have the power to heal people nearly as much as hurting people have the power to heal others who are hurting. That kind of hospital can take place anywhere imaginable.

Contemplating this concept reminds me of a movie, “The Pianist.”

A Polish pianist trapped in a World War II war zone faces many grueling life-depriving situations: separated from his family, forced into slave labor, participates in a failed prison camp takeover and faces sickness and starvation.

Near the end of the war, he’s hiding in a bombed-out house and is discovered by a German officer. The officer learns the Polish Szpilman is a pianist and asks him to play on a grand piano in the house. The war-weary pianist manages to play Chopin’s “Ballade in G minor.” From this point on, the German officer allows him to hide in the house, often bringing him food and provisions keeping him from starving to death. He provides healing through hospitality right in the middle of all those troublesome sparks.

Talk about a counter-cultural experience transcending the humanity of two entirely different people. Enemies become friends in a moment when the tapestry of the times is filled with hate. The German officer obviously was overcome by the pianist’s musical ability, but more so by the depth of his humanity and by his overwhelming needs.

Although some people talk about having the courage to take the high road, this German officer goes against everything he believes and how he’s taught to practice it.

No doubt, without the Ger­man officer’s acts of hospitality toward Szpilman, the pianist would have never lived to 88 and to see the year 2000.

So what’s the answer to a traumatizing world regularly and indiscriminately bombarding the human family with shockwaves of hurt? It may be found, in part, in a German school teacher named Capt. Wilhelm Adalbert Hosenfeld.

He crossed all cultural and doctrinal divides to help hide and rescue several Polish people, to include Jews, and also closely assisted Polish Jewish pianist and composer Wladyslaw Szpilman to survive, hidden in a bombed-out house in Warsaw during the last months of the war.

In June 2009, Hosenfeld officially was recognized by Israel’s memorial to the victims of the Holocaust as one of the Righteous Among the Nations. It was all because he exercised the courage to cross the human divides showing hospitality to the wounded and hurting.

It proves when the sparks are flying upward, the best hospitals are hospitable people willing to share in the depths of others hurts — no matter what day of the week it is.

Dr. T.J. Kimble of Radcliff is a clinical pastoral counselor. He can be reached at 

Blaze Beyond the Box Baseball is back just in time for Fall ball season; beginning September 8 and continuing thru the end of the month!  This is an exciting team of exceptional children whose courage will inspire you and leave a lasting impression on your life!  If you have never participated in this special needs baseball league then you owe it to yourself to come out to Duval Field in Radcliff KY to play with these incredible kids!  You can run the bases, help someone bat, play in the outfield or just watch in amazement as these kids are allowed to live beyond their limitations and just be baseball players for a whole game.

If you know anyone who has a child with any type of disability or limitation that would prevent them from playing on a typical team then please ensure they receive this information; so they can have the opportunity to play organized sports with a team that understands, doesn’t keep score and has no outs!   

We are always looking for other baseball teams to come out in uniform and play with us or groups to help are kids have a great time.  You show up thinking you are going to give these kids a great time and as you get involved before it’s over these kids have given you the time of your life!  We meet every Monday in September, so there’s really no acceptable excuse for you not to make at least one game during our fall ball season!

Together we can “put the ball in play

The Influencer’s tackled toxic people in our last meeting and we had 12 people in attendance as we worked together to create meaningful solutions to responses to toxic people in our lives.  The group was really cooperative and asked many thought provoking questions as well as used and applied the techniques in the book, “Toxic People, Ten Ways of Dealing With People Who Make Your Life Miserable

Ok, maybe YOU can’t change the whole world, but what if YOU could change YOUR little corner of it? 

Well, that’s what the Influencer group is all about; empowering YOU with a peer-group of people who are dedicated to becoming better moms, dads, leaders, team players, coworkers and community changers by using and applying a proven clinical approach to problem solving that’s based on 26 yrs of best practices; that actually work to empower positive changes in YOUR life!

This is a FREE clinical counseling group that is facilitated by Dr. T. James Kimble, but is conversationally driven by a group of individuals dedicated to increasing their influence; changing their little corner of the world one conversation at a time!

This month’s challenge will be tackling how to deal with Toxic People in YOUR life; and learning how to build better responses that allow YOU to avoid getting caught up in the drama of other people’s lives!
So, come on out this month on Sunday, June 15th 6:00 pm, at The Family Life Center of Lifeline Church in Radcliff, KY 1116 S. Dixie HWY.

Oh! By the way YOU don’t want to miss this month’s Influencers group as our good friend HENRY will be sharing/preparing authentic Caribbean Food just for YOU; we always start eating at 6:00 pm so be sure YOU get there early to enjoy a taste of the Caribbean right here in Radcliff, KY.

We are also very excited to offer break out sessions during our Influencer’s.  Laura Jean, who is a grandparent raising a child with special needs, will be spearheading a breakout session for parents or grandparents who are raising children with special needs.  Come prepared to be empowered and learn about current issues as well as discover LEAD parent training that we will be launching very soon!
P.S. We always give away a FREE Temperament assessment, compliments of Your Best Life Now Counseling; a $45.00 value!

Free Counseling for our community

Your Best Life Now Counseling, located in the Family Life Center of Life Line Church in Radcliff KY, offers a free clinical counseling peer support group called The Influencers.  The Influencers group meets every third Sunday of the month at Your Best Life Now Counseling Office at 6:30 pm.

This month, we will be offering authentic Mexican food at 6 pm prepared by our good friend and Influencer, Bernice, with Liz helping.

Come out to Influencer’s this month to experience some real authentic Mexican cuisine and to surround yourself with a group of positive solvers who are learning and developing interpersonal and problem solving skills facilitated by a clinical pastoral counseling approach that fosters positive change.

This month, we are also excited to launch our first breakout session for parents and grandparents with special needs children.  Our facilitator, Laura Jean, will be leading the group with an emphasis on advocacy and supports as well as develop in LEAD parent trainings.  We are anticipating a large turnout as we are collaborating with Open Arms, Grandparent Group, Lincoln Trail Elementary Resource Center as well as other groups.

Please call Liz Kimble for more details at 270-307-0111