Some people just seem to rub us raw, maybe for an obvious reason or no discernible cause. What’s the best way to handle those to whom we have instinctive resistance, especially in a democratic society where we’re supposed to collaborate with one another? Do we just grit our teeth or try to engage? Difficult folks, sometimes known as sandpaper people, can be revealed as meaningful spiritual teachers in disguise.
Rev. Leah Ongiri has served congregations in California, New Jersey, Florida, Wisconsin, and Colorado. She is a graduate of Starr King School for the Ministry and coeditor of the Skinner House book Jewish Voices in Unitarian Universalism. In her current ministry, she consults with congregations and coaches clergy who are seeking to develop and support their communities’ spiritual care. Leah is an amateur potter and casual poet. She lives in North Portland with her four children and spouse. She loves guest preaching and is honored to share a service with the Vancouver UUs.