“Relationship is not a project, it is a grace.” —Thomas Moore in Soul Mates: Honoring the Mysteries of Love and Relationship (HarperCollins, 1994), p. 256.
My friend, Marilyn Goske, who also is a pediatric radiologist, has spearheaded a campaign called Image Gently to decrease radiation to children in diagnostic radiology. This organization encourages physicians to use the least amount of radiation when performing tests on children. It applies to conventional X-rays, fluoroscopy, interventional radiology, nuclear medicine, computed tomography, dentistry, cardiac imaging, and imaging in the setting of minor head trauma. It is the organization’s aim to make physicians, technologists, and nurses aware of the amount of radiation being used, as well as the importance of reassuring parents about any of their concerns. This educational program entails communication with all those directly involved in these studies, as well as all medical organizations that support them. It has had overwhelming success, with more than 63,000 pledges to take part in this program.
Marilyn is showing us how we can change the world by communicating and dialoguing with all people who share a special interest. It involves trying to solve a problem, talking together, working together, celebrating when answers come, and honoring those who are bringing the vision to reality. In this way we are seeing the power of community.
I realize how important this could be in our spiritual lives as well. We find more answers to our spiritual questions in community; whereas often we cannot understand our concerns by ourselves.
Yesterday I met with my spiritual director, who helped me understand a dream that had baffled me for days. Each day in the early morning, I go back to the dream and uncover another insight as though she, and all those who have taught me about dream work, are still guiding me.
We also have many parts of ourselves: inner masculine, inner feminine, the child within, and so many more. When we can see them as helpful voices rather than unwanted adversaries, especially coming from the weaker parts of ourselves, answers are revealed. It is in our weakness, in our vulnerability, especially in community, that God the Holy Spirit creeps in and helps us discern a path—where before we saw only a jungle.
In community we image gently.