Sometimes it is so obvious that God is moving that it is almost frightening. It is sort of like being invited into an event that is already orchestrated, being told where to stand, what to do. It is evident that what is happening is not being done on my own initiative. At the same time my role seems to be vital to the event. Although the opening of the outreach centre for Gateway is still pending, waiting for the nod from the health board, it seems as if this is going to happen. It makes me wonder, “Why me, God? I am not really the best qualified person for a job like this. Don’t you think a social worker or an addictions worker would be better equipped?” Maybe it is because I am available and can see the needs. Maybe God just wants to show up in ways that are definitely not dependant on my adequacy for the job. I know already that I will have to rely on the wisdom and grace of God to run this drop in centre. I want it to be a place where some of the neediest in our city will encounter the love of Christ. But that is in itself a huge responsibility and necessitates my reliance on God for help. Which in turn means that I have to spend time with God listening to God. Already there are demands on my time that encroach on that time so I need to make it one of my highest priorities.
One of the realities of helping people, of loving them enough to want to help them, is that they make demands on my time – rides, a need to talk, sick people to visit, financial help needed, driver’s lesson practice. I think these are tasks I have been called to help with. Of course I can’t take care of everyone’s needs so I need discernment and wisdom on what to do. I think that setting appropriate boundaries is going to be a challenge – setting boundaries on what I can do without setting boundaries on the love of God that I reflect. I suppose part of this will be directing these folk to agencies and other people who want to step in and help too. It was a good reminder reading the account of Jethro’s advice to Moses in Exodus 18 that others need to be enlisted to help.
So, God, give me wisdom and an ability to discern where to use my time and resources and lots of love for the people I will meet and send others also gifted with love to join me in this work.
I need to take up journaling again. Studies done, there will be time for reflection on the day’s events – and time to write these reflections down.
I am beginning to read a book by Jan Richardson, In the Sanctuary of Women. In the introduction she tells the story of prayer books being found during the renovation of an ancient convent. She speaks of the image of a woman with a book of prayer in hand, of this being a way for these medieval women to participate in the Word and pass the Word on to others. I like that image. I do pray that my study of the Word will allow me to participate in the work of God in the world, passing onto others the good news that God actually wants to be involved in our daily lives.
The author goes on to state that prayer was “intertwined” with the “daily life (of these women) and with significant events such as giving birth and entering into death. She believes that “We have struggled to know our lives as sacred texts, to perceive the ways that God has written God’s own story within us, to understand how the Word still seeks to take flesh in and through us.” Perhaps in returning to my blog as journal, I may share some of the text of my life’s journey so that others can see ways in which the Word is taking flesh in me.
Most of my life I consider rather routine and mundane till others point out the amazing places this journey of participating in the Word has taken me. God still continues to allow me breath to continue the journey and as I begin to enter into a new phase of that journey and the challenges that will come, I know I will need all the strength God will give me. By sharing this part of my journey, may you also develop eyes to see God in the places you go.
The one being me.
The other day as I was driving back from Moose jaw towards Caronport I found myself looking off at the horizon and thinking; “God has made some beautiful country out here.” There is a hill actually that I had not paid attention to before and it caught my eye thinking of Psalm 121. “I lift my eyes up to the hills, Does my help come from there?” No. The presence of God does not depend on the presence of hills or mountains or trees or any created thing. They are nice to look at but they are really only signposts to the one who created them and who is always present.
Then I joined a house church group (which is really more like a small group than a separate church gathering) and the scripture we delved into was Psalm 121. I got to know some local people and I think I needed that as much as the reminder that God’s presence is constant – hills or no hills.
So this Sunday I am making a trek into Moose Jaw to check out the Anglican church which has a very welcoming web site and since I now know a couple others who attend there, I am hoping to find a home away from home there. I find myself longing for the richness of liturgy and should get a good dose there.
I think I am back in this space because it seems a more appropriate space than Facebook. Facebook would be Ok since what I will say won’t be long and maybe not terribly profound except to those who know how to read between my lines.
I have been up in Edmonton leading in a small retreat for the women of Sanctuary Covenant Church – Friday evening through tonight. No sleepovers. Just meeting at the house; Sanctuary Place. Sharing in study and meals. Together in the presence of God, listening to him as we shared stories and considered how we could draw closer to God and to each other, how we could deepen our relationships so that we could also help those hovering on the peripheries of the circle join us in our journey deeper into God. (Thanks Randall for reminding me of the great way a wheel can be useful to illustrate this)
And for me it was a weekend of experiencing the presence of God. God the creator of words was there as we shared and he was sufficient – well, actually way more than sufficient. Exodus 4:10-12.
This weekend is full of the meaning of hopes and dreams. Judy and Kendell will be married at about this time tomorrow. Love will find its home in their hopes and dreams for a life together.
And my dreams? And hopes? Well I will be trying out the pastor role in new ways as I lead them in the service of marriage. I think all is ready. But who really knows? I want it all to go perfectly – for their sake and mine to I guess.
But the real test of what we accomplish tomorrow will be how they approach life together from here on. Praying that God will bless his work tomorrow.
I have decided that I have a strange character. I am such an introvert and yet I love people. That is where my problem arises. I panic when I am thinking about people coming and filling up all my space and time with their energy. Their energy seems to mean that I must be willing to be drained by theirs.
I am rejuvenated by silence and by being alone. If I don’t have some periods of intense and prolonged solitude, I find myself panicking more quickly, coming to a place where I can’t respond to others in any way that reflects how much I really do like them.
This summer is a summer for people. I love it but it seems as if all my free time is full of doing – going – providing. All things a grandmother should love. I am anticipating a tiring summer. I may end up loving it – and probably will. My home is full of love, food and good times. But inside I am wishing to run away – to a quiet place where I could just sit, no one else would set my agenda, I could read all night or sleep all night if I wished. Maybe there will be time for this in … But I can’t forsee when this time will be. My fall is even filling up. So I panic.
Who will I become, what will I be? I will have to learn to snatch bits of time and hoard them for my spirit’s health. Maybe I will just have to make the seconds of solitude count for more. Each moment will have to be savoured and the sweetness of it mined for the small drops of energy they provide. Perhaps I will become a storehouse of moments – moments I choose to hold silently and live into as fully as I can.
I guess I will see what is left at the end of this summer. I have always found this space a good thing. Something I do in silence and alone. There are just fewer moments to come here too.