I have often been amazed and disappointed at how many of us who call ourselves followers of Christ--and many who are called to be shepherds of the flock--approach pastoral care and discipleship as a one-size-fits-all template. We make rules and regulations for others--many of them unspoken and unwritten--that we suppose to be righteous and redeeming but in reality are graceless and destructive. We relate to people as theories and examples, rather than as people, and often judge others by the apparent, minimal "facts" of their situation, while so many other factors facing them escape our notice.
For example, this post (here), entitled, "The Long Road of Grace and Mercy," which I found by way of The Anchoress, who says of the author, "She and her husband were blessed to be guided into the church by a true shepherd, one who understood that wounded lambs cannot be asked to leap before they can properly stand on their legs."
Please read "The Long Road of Grace and Mercy," and then come back to this post to comment and let me know what you thought. Or felt.