Item description for A Mile in My Shoes: Cultivating Compassion by Trevor Hudson...
Overview In the dark period of South Africa's history, between 1980 and 1991, Trevor Hudson developed an eight-day experiential program called The Pilgrimage of Pain and Hope. He designed it to enable comfortable, young, middle-class South Africans to reflect upon the meaning of their faith and discipleship within the harsh and oppressive socio-political realities of their nation. From this experience grew a pattern to help all Christians cultivate the depth of compassion Christ requires.
Learn and experience the three essential ingredients of both an inward and outward pilgrimage: (1) Encounter involves confronting the pain of our shattered and fragmented societies; (2) Reflection comes through daily meditation on Scripture in light of the pilgrimage encounters you have; (3) Transformation into greater Christlikeness comes as a gift.
Publishers Description Many think of a pilgrimage as a long journey that must be taken in a foreign land. However,
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More About Trevor Hudson
Trevor Hudson is a Methodist minister, pastoral therapist, and retreat leader in Benoni, South Africa. He is the author of several books, including Hope Beyond Your Tears, The Serenity Prayer, One Day at a Time, and A Mile in My Shoes. Hudson travels widely to conduct conferences, workshops, and retreats.
Trevor Hudson currently resides in Benoni Benoni, South Africa Be. Trevor Hudson was born in 1951.
Reviews - What do customers think about A Mile in My Shoes: Cultivating Compassion?
Great little book on cultivating compassion Oct 22, 2007
I really like this little book. Hudson serves on the pastoral team at Northfield Methodist Church in Benoni, South Africa. The book is primarily about cultivating compassion but I believe it has much to say about spiritual formation and living a missional life as well.
In chapter one Hudson describes the birth of a Pilgrimage of Pain and Hope, an eight day pilgrimage experience for his largely middle-class suburban congregation. Hudson describes it as an "immersion into the struggles and joys of our suffering neighbors."
Illustrating that Christian groups have not always approached such attempts with the proper posture, I appreciated that Hudson shared the concerns of friends and colleagues who ministered in possible pilgrimage sites with comments like "come as pilgrims, not tourists; as learners, not teachers; as listeners, not as talkers."
After the first Pilgrimage of Pain and Hope Hudson committed to three things: (1) He would plan for his congregation an annual, week long pilgrimage; (2) he would try to shape the pilgrimage experience into an effective means of spiritual formation; and (3) on a personal level he would seek to become a "pilgrim" in daily life. Throughout the remainder of the book Hudson provides very practical and insightful encouragement on each of these points.
After reflecting on almost a decade worth of leading his congregation on Pilgrimages of Pain and Hope, Hudson concluded that the concept rested upon three essential ingredients: Encounter, Reflection, and Transformation. While Hudson explores each ingredient more fully in later chapters, he introduces each in chapter one with a brief explanation.
With the element of encounter Hudson writes:
"First, the Pilgrimage of Pain and Hope is a personal encounter with the pain of our shattered and fragmented societies. . . . Alongside this encounter with pain in pilgrimage experience comes an encounter with hope. Throughout these deprived communities we discover those who resiliently refuse to become prisoners of helplessness and despair. Often unsung and anonymous, these hidden saints bring rays of faith, hope, and love to the lives they touch. . . . Encountering these signs of hope challenges the pilgrims to examine their own faith response within their lives and communities."
With the element of reflection Hudson writes:
"Reflection on experience constitutes the next ingredient in the pilgrimage process. The pilgrims experience daily a wide range of emotions, circumstances, and people. Without reflection they run the risk of losing the transforming insights."
With the last element of transformation he writes:
"Transformation into greater Christ-likeness comes as a gift to those generously open to the Holy Spirit."
While each of the above ingredients were obviously important in the Pilgrimages of Pain and Hope, they are equally crucial in the routines of daily life. On incorporating these key ingredients in daily life Hudson writes:
"As the pilgrims returned home and shared their stories, many who listened expressed their disappointment that family and work responsibilities precluded their participation in this annual event. As I thought through this aspect I began to see that these three essential ingredients, Encounter - Reflection - Transformation, represent three critical movements of the authentic Christ-following life. . . . In other words, Christ-followers need to find a practical way of making the pilgrimage experience part of their daily lives. . . . Alongside the usual activities of solitude and silence, prayer and fasting, Bible study and meditation, I began to see the possibilities of the pilgrimage experience as a regular spiritual discipline undergirding our daily walk with God."
In chapter two of A Mile In My Shoes, Trevor Hudson talks about preparing for a pilgrimage by cultivating a pilgrim attitude. Developing such an attitude is not only crucial for a week long type of excursion illustrated by the Pilgrimage of Pain and Hope but it is equally important in our daily lives. Hudson writes:
"How, then, do we go about cultivating a pilgrim attitude? Applicable to every apprentice pilgrim, whether embarking upon a planned pilgrimage experience or not, the question deserves careful attention. Otherwise our lives run the risk of becoming characterized by aimless drifting, smug self-concern, and bland superficiality. Based upon the biblical witness, insights from mentors, and my personal experience with the Pilgrimage of Pain and Hope, I will outline three interwoven ingredients of a pilgrim posture."
So what are these three ingredients? Hudson unpacks the need to first, learn to be present; second, learn to listen; and third, learn to notice.
In remaining chapters Hudson speaks much more on reflecting on the pilgrimage experience, how to prevent compassion fatigue, and how to make the pilgrimage a part of daily life. He also includes a simple planning guide for leading a local congregation on a Pilgrimage of Pain and Hope.