After they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these do?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” And Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
A second time Jesus said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” And Peter answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Look after my sheep.” And a third time he said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was saddened because Jesus asked him a third time, “Do you love me?” and he said, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.”
Jesus then said, “Feed my sheep! Truly, I say to you, when you were young, you put on your belt and walked where you liked. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will put a belt around you, and lead you where you do not wish to go.”
Jesus said this to make known the kind of death by which Peter was to glorify God. And he added, “Follow me!”
Moral injury, very much related to PTSD, occurs when one transgresses the basic moral beliefs and expectations. Peter failed miserably from what was expected of him. Jesus, as a psychiatrist par excellence, did not blame Peter. Instead, he debriefed Peter. Debriefing follows an experience to determine what went wrong. Part of this process is to relive the event, to sit in Cinderella, “little ashes” for purification, like what Native Indians do in smudging ritual. One has to go through “the ashes” of charcoal fire and be debriefed for healing. Peter had failed the first time he went by the charcoal fire. While warming himself by the charcoal fire, he denied Jesus three times. Through this second “charcoal fire,” Jesus wanted to be sure that Peter would not fail, if he has an ardent LOVE. Again, the questions about Peter’s love were covertly asked three times.
Suffering is not a punishment, as it was conceived in antiquity. Job suffered to manifest his righteousness. Suffering is corrective like debriefing. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It is imperative to go through the cause of suffering no matter if it is painful, otherwise the sufferer will perpetually live in the past.
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