[Written on Friday, November 5, 2021]
It’s a sun-filled Friday. A little team of women who love challenging themselves with Scrabble, are gathered at the little table in our bay window that overlooks the pond and gardens of the courtyard of our “Covenant Living.”
I sit in the next room – a convenient alcove I use as a study – a place to write, and listen to their voices. They rise and fall as they concentrate on their game. It is a pleasant and beloved sound to me. They are in a way, “visiting angels.”
Before the game, and their concern with vowels and consonants, we gathered at that table, drinking Starbucks coffee they brought to our tiny home and conversation went to classes and ancient disciplines, like the Ignatius Exercises that live on, among Christians, from the 16th Century.
The conversation had to do with understanding who you are, what kind of person you are, how you find wholeness and balance in your life, how you understand yourself in positive or negative ways.
Back and forth we went. Insights came from the grandmother of motherhood, but also of ministry from Africa, of souls scarred and wounded in Rwanda’s genocide.
I realize what privilege it is in our own life, to have been called to pursue reconciliation in that far-off and wounded land, that had to do with understanding the ways each of us need to seek forgiveness from others we have wounded, and take on the painful job of “ministry on our knees” when we washed, over the years, the many thousands of pairs of feet, and coming to realize the unspoken meaning of that simple act, that brings mending of souls: the healing of hearts, and the creation of deep answers that makes for friendship, and reconciled relationships.
It has grown on me, over the years, of how important it is to know who and Whose we are, and what we are about in the world. Knowing what we are about and our purpose for our life, and understanding something of what our life means in the world.
Who are we as we live out our days? And, what does it mean to be “Jesus’ person,” to be His presence and representative in the world, and to help the Body, the Church, to see themselves as God’s people in that way, rather than to be your own self – with all the possible pitfalls of self-importance. To be instead, quietly, and hopefully humble, there as an influence from above, because of what our heart knows and offers to the family, the community, and the church around us.
We have been taught for a long time, in America, to put self first. Jesus says to put Him first. I want still, to work on that. I pray we all can do that. - Toward a more civil, compassionate, generous, and faithful world.
So hard. So important. We will all need each other, to do it. Can we try?
Arthur A Rouner, Jr -
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ARTHUR ROUNER MINISTRIES
All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. . ."