I spent most of Friday and Saturday behind a table as the Episcopal clergy and lay ministers of Georgia walked by, many of whom glanced down to see copies of After Shocks, and some of whom I was able to stop and talk to about the poetry of recovery.
Those who stopped seemed very interested in the value of After Shocks as a potential pastoral care resource. A few of them bought copies of After Shocks. One woman wept when she told me the story of her daughter's death at the hands of an impaired driver, just a few years ago. She bought a copy of After Shocks and said that she hoped it gave her the courage to start a MADD chapter in Perry, Georgia.
What I've found interesting about clergy--they are well-educated and quite literate, and most of them like poetry! I probably should have known this already, as I have some friends who are priests or ministers, but when I started meeting them in dozens, I finally understood the weight of their jobs. Hundreds maybe thousands of people depend on them for both enormous emotional upheavals and miniscule emotional blips. Plus, clergy must write something intelligent, interesting, and insightful each and every week as a sermon or their audiences (i.e. their employers) y lose their jobs.
I continue to marvel at the strong reaction by clergy to After Shocks, and I'll continue to promote its value to this audience.
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