2014 Oates Institute Presentation – “Spirituality – The New Elixir In The Care Continuum”

Below is an abridged version of the presentation that Joe Steier and I used in our question and answer discussion with students at the Wayne Oates Institute as part of their 2014 online conference “Envisioning the Future of Spiritual Care“.




“Ancient Secrets of the Horse’s Mind” by Dianne H. Timmering

“ . . .since You know their hearts, for You alone know every human heart.” 1 Kings 8: 39

Last week I traveled to Florida to SHC of Palm Beach, where this brilliant team was discussing concrete wellness concepts and integration in various business modeling. It was a good trip in a busy world. We enjoyed the meetings, dissecting the new world of ACOs, physician temperaments, hospital challenges and deep opportunity, and the power that a robust, good outcome-based, “nice smelling” (their words) nursing home can make in the concentric realm of a diverse community and this new frontier of healthcare.

Caught up in this momentum of modeling of hope in healing, preventative or otherwise, excited about a good two days, ready to go home, even restored a little in the warm air which we are desperate for in the frozen valleys of Kentucky, I started to notice people in the airport. Not “people” actually but individuals–the kind woman, worthy and beautiful, simple and kind when I bought a bottle of water from her in the airport store; the older woman with a black eye in housekeeping working to keep the bathroom clean. I prayed for her, wondering in her tilled sadness, that if she were in a dangerous situation, she could get out, that someone would help her, that she could find a way.

The young girl with possible anorexia who was in front of me as we filed through the magnetometers, who sat near me while we waited to board, who sat an aisle and a seat back from me on the plane. She was so thin that if I had reached over to touch her, my finger may have sliced through her desperate vulnerability. I prayed from near and then later from afar that she could know that she was worthy and beautiful.

Then there was the man sitting next to me on the last leg to Louisville, who picked up my bag and put it in the overhead bin before I had to ask. He was quiet but a volcano of effervescence reading the book, “Ancient Secrets of the Horses’ Mind.” An avid reader, I was intrigued and I watched him turn the pages, worthy and beautiful he was, diving into the natural mind of a horse–what was he thinking; what was he learning, I so wanted to know. What were his own ancient dreams, forgotten on the floor of shredded ice, blended in the melting of nothing into nothing and yet, still a molecule of being in the pale boldness of God’s own hand.

What were this man’s ancient secrets, why was the precious girl so very thin, and why did the woman have a black eye? Why?

Humanity–beautiful and frail, deeply wounded, tender, stronger than the force of an ox. Humanity.

And then I remembered the wellness business modeling–a brilliant plan to impact a thousand lives, plus one. Your ancient secrets are in the palm of His hand. He knows you. He will dig and pull and present them to you, let them be yours, for beautiful and worthy you are.

Dianne H. Timmering, MBA, MFA, CNA
Vice President of Spirituality
Signature Consulting Services, LLC