(Sarah asked me to do a post while she was away praying. I agreed. Imagine her surprise - and mine - to find I'm doing a second post!!)
I was thinking of a constellation of themes that coalesced for a chapter directive to be sent to our congregational chapter: right relationships, justice, non-violence, peace, restorative justice, etc. It also relates to a book I'm reading called Creating a World that Works for All.
It seems to me the aspirations behind the chapter themes all come from the same place in my heart. They are all about how I relate to those who are other or different from me.
Much of our world (and truth to tell too much of my own energy) relates to the other, to those different from self as persons/things to be
- discarded or discounted
- dominated or oppressed.
Instead, what if I/we changed the way I/we relate to the other and to those different? What if we were to relate to them with
- care and compassion?
It seems to me that if I can choose to relate to one other with respect, honor, love, care and compassion, I've grown the space in my heart so that I can relate to every other creature, and to God in a better way. At the same time, I've given the other space to grow as well.
Likewise, if I give in to fear and distrust and relate to another with disrespect, then I've withered the space of goodness in my own heart, so that I relate to every other with a little less care and compassion. At the same time, in some way I have smothered the life in the other as well.
I saw this happening in a concrete way during the recent storms here in St. Louis. Neighbor reached out to neighbor during the cold nights without power. I think we all were gifted by the giving and receiving of help here in our neighborhoods. An advent sign of the coming Prince of Peace.
Peace to all,