Beautiful Scars: A Conversation with Lauran Bethell, Part Three

This week on the Allender Center Podcast, Dr. Dan Allender continues a four-part conversation about beautiful scars with Lauran Bethell, Coordinator and Leadership Team Chair for the International Christian Alliance on Prostitution (ICAP). Lauran and Dan pick up their conversation right where they left off, so be sure to listen to Part One and Part Two of this series.

Dan: “Not many people are talking about a cruciform form of aesthetics.”

Here, as Dan and Lauran respond to audience questions, Dan talks about a theology that embraces beauty—in all of its complexity and chaos—as even more important than truth and goodness. Dan argues that the fact that it is stunning that ICAP, which combats the horrors of sex trafficking and prostitution, is inviting people to engage the category of beauty.

Dan: “The nature of beauty is, the closer you get to it, the more you cannot speak it. […] It’s indescribable. We can talk about it, but we always stumble. I always feel foolish when I try to name something of that level of glory.”

Another question prompts Dan to reflect on how lay people, not necessarily licensed therapists or ordained pastors, can lead others to wrestle with the categories of death and resurrection in their stories. Dan shares about the recent loss of his mother, and how that is leading him into even deeper parts of his story and deeper levels of heartache, which will continue to shape how he sits with others.

Dan: “How are you with your own tears? Because you will never take anyone further than you have chosen to go in your own story.”

The conversation turns to the movement through Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and how the unearthing of the places of death and darkness in our stories deepens our capacity to sit with the stories of others.

Dan: “The bottom line is, make sure you’re growing. Make sure you’re telling. Eventually people will hear in your story how brokenness is actually leading you not to escape it, but to metabolize it into something more beautiful.”