“Helping is not a technique. It is an investment of one’s self” (Scales & Kelly, 2012, p. 281). This statement which was written by Alan Keith-Lucas is a powerful statement to me. I never thought that helping others was investing into myself before this reading. Reality, empathy, and support, the trinity so to speak of a Christian social worker’s primary concepts. As I relate these concepts to the holy trinity, I can see a tie into social work as a whole.
The reality, which is like Christ, a man of human flesh so social workers must be able to accept the reality of those that they are empowering. Without recognizing and accepting the reality of those who need to be empowered, the social worker cannot begin to give empowerment. What else is reality and how does it apply daily one wonders. Fortunately, the readings help make more sense of this concept. The reality is the social worker accepting and not discounting any issue that one they serve may be having. The smallest of things to the social worker which may be easy to discount may be life altering and the root of something bigger for the person seeing empowerment.
Empathy a trait in which God knows very well “For He knows what we are made of, remembering that we are dust “(Psalm 103:14, Holman Christian Standard Bible). As a social worker, one cannot feel the pain of others honestly, but God can feel the pain of his people. Social workers must be able to empathize with those they are serving. I question how a social worker can serve and empower anyone without empathy? As the text states “to help someone else with reality, one has to show empathy for him” (Scales & Kelly, 2012, p.293). The person being served must feel as that they are valued and know that the social worker is walking with them and understanding them.
Support, just as the Holy Spirit embodies people and gives them the support they need to conquer those curve balls that life often throws at them. A social worker must be able to support those that they serve. Without the support how can they become empowered and go on doing bigger and better things? I believe that the conceptual trinity for social workers ends appropriately with support. Support is one of the three pillars of empowering those which social workers serve. The question here is how do social workers empower someone? They can be supported by working with them through their emotional problems, finding resources to empower them in their life. Support also to me comes in a hidden way that the client never sees, the biggest means of support is a solid prayer life and being grounded in the word. This support enables the social worker, to find all of the ways to best serve those who need them.
Reality, empathy and support three words by themselves have some meaning but do not encompass the entire picture. Reality only comes through empathy, but to have empathy the social worker must have some sense of the reality. Until the reality is identified, and with the power of empathy, the social worker will know best how to serve their client.