Coming Alive for Ministry
I haven't written in days. The words are all stuck up there somewhere. In between memories and cluttered thoughts. The last I wrote was 8 days ago and it feels like so much has happened since. I don't know why it is so necessary to chronicle every moment or feeling. Like laughing in the middle of praying or the heaving sobs I released during last weekend's retreat. Like the queasiness of my stomach awaiting responses to questions posted about the faith or the agony of the journey towards healing.
So much has happened and I haven't begun absorbing it all.
But this much I know, I have felt the calling to serve the Church once again. I've realized a lot of things while sitting through the 2 day weekend retreat meant to rejuvenate the spirits of community members and save them from falling out or further alienation. I remember all the moments I've felt alienated in community. And it was comforting to know that I wasn't the only one. In the end, my initial reluctance of being there was replaced with a peaceful release. I allowed myself to be vulnerable about my anxieties and the women gathered around me and laid their hands on me as I cried the thorns out of my chest.
No words needed to be said and yet the feeling of love just poured out. It's still quite a mystery and no amount of trying to understand that phenomenon will enable me to capture it fully in words. That overwhelming warmth mixed with the aching of throbbing wounds about to be healed. The tenderness of being embraced by friends.
|a circle of hugs|
|speaking with the one who taught me how to play the piano for God|
|singing "if we hold on together"|
We shall be known by our love. Those words echo long after the retreat has ended and I find myself pondering on it. Last night, the Wednesday Group had another chance to talk about these things a little bit more and it dawned on me that "being know by our love" becomes significant in the most difficult moments of communal life.
This circle of hugs would not have felt as warm or as good or as sincere, had we not experienced the challenges that stormed our relationships. Reconciliation would not have been as sweet.
I am still learning how fully appreciate what it means to "love your neighbor as yourself". But having weathered a series of storms this past year that shook the very foundations of my belief in other people, I can say that I'm getting there.