Being Placed in Your Office Part 2


The Overview

As I was flying out of Dallas last week, God gave me a download on the six steps needed for someone to move into the office of personhood.  Since then, I have been busier than a plywood salesman before a hurricane, but now find myself flying back to Dallas with some time to build out the seminal ideas.

My basic hypothesis at this point is:

-There is a right model that happens quite casually through the normal events of life for most people.

-That model can be broken, leaving us without the office.

-When we are not in the appropriate office, we will not thrive in some areas.

-When we are not in the office, we will seek compensations, many of which are unwholesome.

Ultimately, however, God puts in front of us the experiences we need so we can grow to the place where He will place us in the office we missed the first time around.  Our goal is to hit the balls He so patiently keeps pitching us.

The Original Plan

Personhood is, I think, supposed to be developed in the womb first through an intimate connection with the mother where the two are one.

Originally, the spirit and God were one.  As God crafted the spirit out of the light that He is, there was definitely some degree of “otherness” but broadly the two were of one essence.  There was also a huge degree of togetherness.  The dignity the human spirit had came from the essence of God and the joy Father had in the existence of this spirit which was a part of His nature and the product of His creative brilliance.

In an ideal situation, it is a fairly small step from the two being one in heaven, to the two being one in the womb.  Again, there is shared essence of bodies and great joy on the part of the mother that she could share her essence with the child.

The Plan Gone Wrong

When a child is rejected in the womb, this can be an attack on their personhood.  I think a lot depends on the cause and the intensity of the rejection.  When a child is a surprise and the parents do an attitude adjustment in a few weeks, I don’t think there is massive trauma.

But when the mother vehemently did not want to be pregnant and maintains the posture of the baby being a hostile invasion of her life, deep damage is done.  There is nothing the baby in the womb can do to redeem himself or herself.  No noble achievement will offset the fact that the baby is “wrong” for simply existing and that the mother’s deepest wish is for non-existence to occur.   No partial fixes exist for the child.  They are simply awful for having committed the involuntary crime of existing.

When the two are not one in the womb, and the two are actively toxic to each other (or there is the perception of that), personhood is stripped from Father’s masterpiece before birth.

There are two other situations that lend themselves heavily toward the loss of personhood.  One is being born into slavery and the other is being born into a home situation where there is some other highly needy person, and the baby’s only identity is relative to the needy person.

Initially this means the baby has to be silent so as not to disturb the parent, the special needs sibling or whoever is in need.  Ultimately it means the child becomes a quasi-slave of the needy person whose life defines the family’s cadence.

Consequences and Compensations

When an individual is robbed of the office of personhood in the womb, they are much more prone to exploitation and victimization as adults.  While anyone can be victimized, the non-person is most likely to be used with impunity because of their need for acceptance which generally causes them to be quite compliant in their endless, futile pursuit of personhood through service.

There are some predictable compensations we see in individuals who are not in the office of personhood.  There seems to be a crude attempt to re-establish the “two who are one” dynamic which was missed in the womb.

-A fantasy life is the most common compensation.  For some, they indulge in a heavy immersion in fiction, either written or video, in order to escape the loneliness of being a non-person.  For others, they put themselves in the stories, envisioning themselves as the perfect sidekick to their hero.

-A variation on this is a real time hero worship where the individual dresses, acts or talks like their designated role model.  While this behavior is quite common among teens and can be non-toxic, there is a toxic edge to it when the non-person is trying to establish their missing oneness with some other adult who often is not welcoming of the attention.  This can develop into a form of emotional or spiritual stalking.

-Serial mentors is another variation that is not so obvious.  The non-person finds a skill of some sort that interests them and seeks to be mentored by the best person in that field.  Their intense pursuit of excellence in the new field causes them to be brought into the inner circle of the master for a while.  Soon however, this proves non satisfactory to both parties and they drop that hobby and pursue another one in a few months.

-The previous two dynamics can combine into a person becoming a conference groupie.  Even though they don’t have personal contact with the “mentor” they are vacuuming up everything he or she says and does, seeking to learn the other person’s world so as to become a part of it somehow, even if only in their imagination.

-I wonder if sex fits in here.  Are a lot of the guys who are addicted to pornography being driven by their lack of oneness in the womb to seek a connection with the mother figure through their messy connection with random females?  I don’t know, but I wonder.  I am sure this is not the only drive behind pornography, but I wonder if it factors in with some guys.

Eventually, in order to be restored to the office of person, the non-person needs to experience deep intimacy where the two are one.  I am sure that this plays into some inappropriate sexual relationships.  The non-person is seeking the deep emotional bond that will validate their personhood, while their partner often is simply using them as an object, thereby making the wound deeper.

So what does healing look like?

Remember, this is only one of six components that I think need to be in place for the personhood to be restored.  My sense is that they can come in any particular order.

I have seen healing, joyous intimacy happen on both the emotional and spiritual level.

An Emotional Connection

I watched one woman struggle with lack of personhood in the religious sector.  She was involved in a series of different organizations, with both high structure and low structure groups.

She had high utilitarian value to the groups initially and was placed in positions where she could contribute.  Very soon, however, she became first invisible, then under-resourced and eventually was shunned and made into a scapegoat for various pieces of nonsense before she was discarded like a used napkin.

God took her through a variety of healing situations but the graduation party consisted of a very significant spiritual ministry that she did with another woman.  The task God assigned her was complex, one of a kind, involving a lot of travel with ever changing circumstances.

This is the kind of situation that so often in the past would turn into either her being the designated “grunt” doing all the dirty work or her being run over by some other personality on the team.

In this case, the other lady was able to synchronize with her magnificently during all of the ups and downs of the trip.  While my friend was definitely the leader in the sense that God gave her this assignment, her partner walked with her as an equal.  They each heard from God in different ways at different times, contributing to the whole process as God had equipped each of them.

Beyond the successful trip, there was fun, honor and mutual life giving.  Neither was needy, yet each gave to the other in appropriate ways.  The two were one at a level that my friend had never experience before.  I think it mattered a lot that the other person was a woman, since it was clearly her mother who had not bonded with her in the womb.

The evidence that she entered the office of personhood after that assignment is that people in leadership in the community began to treat her differently.  She was seen as part of the community and good people did good things for her when there were potential problems.

In the past, when bad things happened and she asked for the kind of help everyone is entitled to (police protection, insurance payoffs, contractors to do work), she was treated as a nuisance who was invading people’s lives.  Now significant players in her secular world are reaching out to her PROACTIVELY to be life giving to her in areas she has not requested.

This is solid, sustained evidence of her walking in the office of person for the first time in her life.

A Spiritual Connection

The other person went on a spiritual pilgrimage.  God did three things.  First he stripped her of most of her community.  Second, He stripped her of some of her most vital core resources.  Then He gave her an impossible task to do – with nothing to do it with!!!

In the journey that followed, she was extremely vulnerable.  Many times she did not know if she could do life, never mind execute the project.   Through it all, God micromanaged the project.  “Do this.  Do that.  Don’t do anything for weeks.  Now do a double portion today when you are at your worst.”

The intimacy she experienced as He did miracle after miracle through her, to enable her to do her assignment was a classic picture of the two being one.  Even though she had to “do” the assignment, it was His hand over her hand every time she did it. It was His words coming out of her mind.

She is no stranger to intimacy with Christ:  public worship, private worship, ministry times, warfare, intercession, miracles and sundry other forms of contact with God were all familiar to her.  But the oneness she experienced during this long process was unprecedented.

When the assignment was finished, she discovered that in the business sector of her life, things changed.  She had struggled to hold her own in business over the years.  Ordinary things like getting insurance or paying taxes or calling the landlord had often been high drama events.  Her requests were ignored, twisted or made to seem highly unreasonable.

Now two business people are competing for her business with great personal attention, not just good pricing.  The company she opted to use has gone out of their way to treat her with uncommon respect and to show deep commitment to keeping the relationship for the long term.

What Do YOU Do?

These are two very fresh pictures of people who have had a “graduation exercise” and are now treated differently by some sectors of the community.  Not everything has changed for them, but enough has changed to be significant.

While the two being one is the first point of establishing personhood in the normal sequence, it was the final step in these two situations.  We have not been exploring this long enough to say whether this step can fit anywhere in the sequence.

I am, however, pretty confident that there has to be some deep shared experience, where both parties are freely and extensively life giving to each other, and there is joy in both parties over simply being together.  Clearly it can happen between two people or between a person and God.

This last point is quite important to me.  When someone has not been a “person” for a long time, they tend to be quite isolated in the community.  So much of the current teaching on healing protocols begins with instructions on how to leverage your community for better healing, and when a person has no community to leverage, that really mocks their woundedness and leaves them feeling helpless.

God is certainly capable of crafting a situation where you and He experience life together in a mutually life giving, highly enjoyable context.

So what?

If you are one of those who recognized that you were deprived of personhood in the womb and have consequently had primarily utilitarian value ever since, what do you do to go forward?

First of all, remember that this article is simply one of six steps God showed me.  I think most people have to deal with each of those six items before making the transition, although I can’t say that for sure.   Stand by for the rest of the series as I have time to write.

Then remember that we “deal with” those six action items by stepping into circumstances that God has created for us.  By definition the circumstances will seem less than desirable, but if you can differentiate between the events the devil has designed to slam you some more and the ones God has designed to heal you, then you can step up with some level of confidence.

For this exercise, the components seem to be a task that is too big to be real, the inability to execute the task precisely because of your issues, and the exquisite partnership with either God or another person as you do the task anyway.

And remember that the task might be a week long, like with the first person, or months long, like with the second person.

Copyright October 2011 by Arthur Burk

In and above Dallas, on my way to Memphis

This entry was posted in Daughters, Spiritual Growth. Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Being Placed in Your Office Part 2

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Is it possible for a whole people group to be not walking in the ‘office of people?’ If so, does healing have to come one individual at a time, or can there be strategies for whole groups?

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    • Arthur Burk says:

      Well, it is a new thought on the surface, yet when we think of the degrading influence of slavery, it seems like a no brainer. In theory, there could be healing for small people groups, I think, but I can’t quite wrap my head around how we would deal with a nation as a whole. Lots of new areas to think about in this subject. Normally I work with a topic quite a bit longer before going public, so on this one, most of my answers will be “I am not sure” since I am figuring it out as I go along.

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      • Mel says:

        I find this topic very interesting on both a personal and professional level.
        It has stimulated me with questions that I know you probably can’t answer right now. I find that I ask questions, not necessarily to find answers right away, but to help me think through a process or to think about the implications of an idea. So, think of the following comment as more of a thought process or the beginning of a dialogue than specifically questions per se.
        I work in the field of development, where I have been grappling recently with questions about how to help the poor in the best way, particularly when we are dealing with nations where there has been historical oppression, conflict, and generations of dependency from colonialism or other types of oppression. I think the above comment about people groups who may not have an office and how to work with groups of people or nations is a very interesting notion, because much of my work (in a secular venue) has to do with that. How can we be life changers for groups of people through a secular venue that has historically fostered dependency even though it is ostensibly trying to empower a community and motivate change? How does the victim spirit and/or not being placed in an office play a role on a national level, or people group level and how can we be life giving in our development work in a way that changes the spiritual atmosphere or changes life for the key players in such a way that the repercussions can ripple through a nation in a good way. What are the factors for growth that we as life-givers can put into place even in a secular organization to help people find their office and their personhood on a national level? What are the seed elements that need to be placed in the structure and organization of programs to truly produce life to a country, people group or marginalized population that may have generations of people who have not been placed in an office? How can you help someone into a sense and place of office, especially if you are looking at communities or people who have been historically oppressed?

        I don’t mean to sidetrack you on your post, but, as I’ve traveled the world and seen and interacted with different cultures that focus more on community and less on individuals (the way that we do in the US), the more I wonder and pray and think about how God may want to impact families and communities and nations as a whole. I think there is a very crucial element of individual responsibility and accountability in our walk with Christ, but feel in many of our conversations in the US (not necessarily all yours – still in the beginning stages of exploring some of your thought processes) we don’t focus on the community level for transformation because our societies are so fragmented and individualized in the US.

        So sorry to ramble and perhaps take this off topic a bit.

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        • Arthur Burk says:

          Melissa, you are right in America’s approach being quite limited. The primary person speaking about community for healing is Dr. James Wilder. All of his materials presuppose that you can only heal in community (something I do not agree with) and he builds his healing modules around community interaction. And it words. BUT, we are so fragmented that so many people don’t have even a community of one to start with, so his resources only mock their pain even more.

          So I absolutely agree with you that much of our American methodology is not portable, because it is abstract ideology and other cultures know God and understand life in the key of music of communities. So we need a new set of modalities for entire cultures. And I still feel that independent though we are, as Americans, community does a whole lot better job of healing people than isolation, but the deficit position we find ourselves in is daunting even to me. Where do we begin with our sorry mess?

          And yes, to the issue of social structures that are life giving rather than producing more dependency. I will be speaking on that at length at the Frederick Maryland event in a week or so.

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          • Mel says:

            Thanks Arthur,

            It’s interesting because I felt very strongly that I should attend your event in Maryland and have cleared multiple things from my schedule to do so. Glad to hear that you will be speaking about that very issue at the event at a time when God is triggering my heart to think/pray about these issues. I look forward to having more of a discussion there.

            I am in the midst of preparing to move overseas and had a chance for a “preview” last month, which I believe is allowing me the time to process and seek God for advice for the situations I will be facing there (I think my soul operates primarily as a Mercy…so perhaps God knew I needed that kind of processing beforehand). I’m afraid I don’t want to give many more details on a public blog like this, but would be open to a more private conversation in the future.

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  2. Rosa says:

    If the mother rejects a child in the womb,I wonder if the father also automatically rejects the child. My dad still tells people that I was the unwanted kid,he says it as a joke, but,seriously, I would really like for that to stop.Hopefully I will get some answers here:)

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    • Arthur Burk says:

      No, Rosa, here is not an automatic rejection. It certainly can happen, but there are cases where a father deeply loves the child and the mother does not. That has some benefit to the child in that he or she has some emotional grounding and personhood, but often it becomes bifurcated. The child will have personhood in the eyes of the males in his or her world, but not be seen or accepted by the females.

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  3. Joyce says:

    You said “So much of the current teaching on healing protocols begins with instructions on how to leverage your community for better healing, and when a person has no community to leverage, that really mocks their woundedness and leaves them feeling helpless.”

    Wow – this is exactly what happened to me! Someone who I highly respect in many areas told me that I had to have community to heal. That was very frustrating. I finally thought – “Well, that may be true, but God hasn’t give me that!” And then I listened to your “Life, Dominion, & Honor” series where you pointed out that when we look to people to meet our needs, we are one step away from bitterness and anger. That is when I got it! God had been bringing me through a 5 year process where I had practically no one but him to lean on and I, too, saw miracle after miracle and learned to hear His voice very well. And He taught me to walk in amazing intimacy with Him. Thank you for validating this!

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  4. Doris says:

    A few months ago God reconnected me with a dear friend who had been my mentor in the area of prophesy. She was a lost child of the womb, one whom Mom had tried to abort and failed. I have no doubt there is a great call on her life. Last week we spent our time together allowing God to remove from her the sense of responsibility she has carried for 40 years that if she didn’t do what needed to happen, who would. Most particularly regarding intercession for her daughter and granddaughter. I watched her agonizingly turn over her will AGAIN in a more profound way than ever, realizing that she was in the way of God doing what HE wanted to do with her daughter who is currently hitting her wall of agony. I was blessed to be a part of it, and your blog gave it another level of legitimacy,to know again that God is speaking to you the things that are playing out in my life. Wow! We believe we have assignment of such proportions that this deep cleansing must happen now. We are in awe of how God brought us back together at this deeper level of intimacy with our God. It is about “Christ in you, the hope of Glory”..

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  5. Jeannie says:

    After reading the comments I am understanding this more. Thank you Arthur and insightful commenters. It is like a door opened where I can see something I never understood. Behind that door are so many “non persons” trying desparately to be what God intended.

    It also helps drain out a load of bitterness I’ve had toward others who have seen me as non person in spite of my efforts to be otherwise.

    I am also seeing how I’ve unwittingly “non personed” others not knowing why.. seeing it but not understanding and feeling terrible about it. Fighting against it.

    There seem to be some individuals who are able to consistently see past this, are able to see personhood in those who are largely non personed by others–and respond accordingly.. when others can not or will not. My question is how can some see person when others can not. I know I’ll get my answer as this blog unravels.. thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  6. Mary-Anne Simpson says:

    This posting really resonated with me. I am not sure if I am on track here or not, but although I was a much loved and much wanted child, I believe that when my father died when I was 11 I was robbed of my personhood.
    He and I were increadably close, I was his only daughter and I was his shaddow. I did stuff with my mom, but only got close to her in my 20’s.
    When he died my entire world fell appart, I resented my mom, I was angry with everything and everyone.
    Even though I came to the Lord when I was 12 I still had BIG issues that I know had their root in the loss of my dad.
    I was invisable in a social setting, I could contribute to a conversation, and observe that no-one had even realised that I had spoken, it was devastating and broke my self esteem.
    I met and fell in love with my husband when I was 27, and I knew that something shifted, but it was not untill (long story) we got married 15 years later that all the pieces fell into place and I began to know a contentment, security and a sense of being a person who other people saw and valued that resonates within me in an indiscribeable way.
    It was from then on that doors began to open and I would get opportunities and invitations to things that I could not have dreamed of before – strangely I was compensated by having a very sucessful corporate career (although I was promoted, I was often under-resourced), so this loss of personhood was mainly in social settings.
    It is as though in marrying me my husband gifted me with wholeness in that area.

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  7. Carol says:

    So many people I have encountered in ministry have come to mind as I read this. Your insights will have a huge impact on the inner healing sector. We have been talking much about identity lately; all you are revealing about moving into office speaks to that. One question I had is, how about the child of alcoholic parents – or other substance abusers – who are lost in their own worlds?
    God bless you as you pursue this.

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  8. Jim Alseth says:

    Arthur, very quickly, the path you’re on here, I have to say, is hugely significant! Massive.
    In answer to your question: I wonder if sex fits in here?, I would say from my own experience, unequivocally, YES.

    Like

  9. Marlise Zuercher says:

    Arthur, these articles are so intense, for myself and for two of my friends (who, for one more time,
    do not speak any English). I will tell them, what landed in my spirit, but if they are touched by your thoughts, would you allow me, to pass the whole articles on this issue to them? I write it down in German, for my own better understanding, anyway. Of course I would give the clear reference, where it comes from.

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  10. jkellythomas says:

    I have a question (and does not have to be a public comment)…
    As one who
    “recognized that you were deprived of personhood in the womb and have consequently had primarily utilitarian value ever since”,
    realizing that
    “Ultimately, however, God puts in front of us the experiences we need so we can grow to the place where He will place us in the office we missed the first time around. Our goal is to hit the balls He so patiently keeps pitching us.”,
    how does one know what the responsibilities and ‘benefits’ of the office are? For me this pertains to personhood, and position of daughter in particular.
    Being Fathered/fathered and also mothered, has been a matter of study and prayer for quite some time and have found that God keeps me ever moving forward in the process (and am so very thankful He is answering me). There is a part of me that feels utterly ignorant to what it means to be a daughter, along with its ‘rights’ and responsibilities.
    Is there anything that you could throw my way that I could add to my study and pray on?

    -Kelly (jkellythomas@yahoo.com)

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    • Arthur Burk says:

      Kelly, that is the purpose of this series — to explore the office of daughter. You may wish to read the comments to the previous blogs on this subject as they were quite insightful. I will be doing five more blogs on the issue of personhood, before getting to the office of daughter. This one will take awhile.

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  11. Geoffrey Brian Whitehead says:

    Arthur, I wonder how many children went through that sort of disconnect as did I because of the bombing of various cities in England.
    My mother was dug out a bomb shelter twice during the Blitz of London, and made an inner vow ,not wanting children. I was born in 1948, and shortly afterwards my mother was diagnosed with a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy, which later turned out to be Mysthenis Gravis.
    This series is going to help me and there is probably afew English folks who will thank you too. By the way I am now in Chattanooga TN, having left England in 1988.
    I look forward to further articles in this series.
    Blessings Geoffrey

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    • Arthur Burk says:

      Geoffrey, I had never thought of the war children. I shall have to take a step back and ponder that more deeply because like you say, you are not alone. Thanks for bringing that to my attention.

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      • Mary-Anne Simpson says:

        My father-in-law was send to England to school at 4 years old, he went home once a year for Christmas, when he was home they would be looked after by a nanny and spend 1 hour with their parents, presented at tea on best behaiour, in their best clothes, whereafter they were whisked away to the nursery and told not to “bother” their parents. This was the norm for many people in the colonies. (although my home was not like this I had various friends my age (49) who grew up much like this)
        My faher-in-law was very bright and matriculated at 14, war had broken out and once more he was sipped out, this time to Africa to avoid the draft. Once more he was robbed of any family.
        He came to south Africa alone, did not meet up with the relatives he was supposed to, somehow he supported himself, lived in a shack and completed and enginering degree and a CA by 21, so self reliant and resorceful, but uncomfortable with people.
        The final act of theft against him happened 21 years ago when he was murdered in a home burgulary.
        I am really enjoying this series, I beleive that there are so many keys for healing for me
        and the 2 generations before mine, who were impacted by the Colonial lifestyle and the war. My two older brothers by 25 and 27 years did not see my father for many years from the ages of 5 and 3 because he signed up and went to Egypt.
        Then don’t get me started on the migrant labour system perfected by apartheid, where (non-white) mother and father lived in different places in the country, the men on remote farms or mining hostels, and the women as domestic servants in the cities, living in a back room behing the main house, so they could cook and clean and look after the employers’ children, while their own children were sent ‘home” to be raised by the paternal grandmother.
        Our country is so full of fragmented families the reasons for which have political origins.

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  12. Carol Brown says:

    This is going to be good! I’ll be praying for you Arthur that God creates time bubbles in which you can write, we can give feedback, and you can tweak! Blessings, I can really sense the poltice this will bec!ome

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  13. Pat says:

    Arthur, this article is so timely, not only for myself, but also for several women I’m doing ministry with. It will add another layer or tool into the healing process. Thank you. can’t wait to see the other five steps!

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  14. jkellythomas says:

    Thank you for pursuing this!

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