Last Sunday I saw my friend Gay Ingram in the Garden and visited with her about an amazing and vital ministry of our church — “Kids Hope.”
Kids Hope, which is about to begin its 10th year, provides mentors from our church for individual children at T.A. Sims Elementary School. Through the simple, caring relationships, leaven for new life can happen. The soulful friendships developed over a relatively short time can have a lasting effect that can open new windows to God’s Kingdom. Others in our church who may not be able to be a regular mentor, can volunteer to be prayer partners and regularly keep a child and mentor prayerfully in their hearts.
It is truly amazing how meaningful these relationships can become. I have been blessed as a prayer partner with Bob Diaz for almost 10 years and have been to the school for celebrations several times. What a gift it is to witness God’s love working in the lives of all those involved.
Does this sound like something calling to you? There is a need for new mentors this year. It is a wonderful way to be part of The Way… to be God’s people in the world and experience the ways relationships of care can transform lives.
After my conversation with Gay, I went to the 11:11 Service where Tom McDermott was telling a story about some new acquaintances he and Linda met in Santa Fe recently. As they got acquainted, they learned that these new friends had just been on a retreat with Fr. Richard Rohr. My ears perked-up like our dog Chancy’s, because I had taken my father on the first Men’s Retreat with Richard Rohr almost 20 years ago. It got me to thinking in new ways about Richard Rohr’s emphasis on the importance of mentoring and how significant something such as Kids Hope is for us all.
Mentoring can become a place of discovery, where you become aware that every relationship can take you to Holy Ground. Mentoring can open that part of you that knows the real presence of God through and beyond words. And as you have conversations with and pray for a student and family at T. A. Sims (or just about any surprise encounter in the day), you can be opened to the fresh Presence, comfort and direction in the Spirit throughout each day.
Just yesterday morning in our weekly Lectio Divina prayer time at the church, a companion on the faith journey shared this recent meditation written by Richard Rohr which fits perfectly with reflections on hope for us all.
“Once we can honestly acknowledge whatever is going on in the moment with clarity and acceptance, we can let our unmet expectations go. This allows us to live more freely and vibrantly, fully awake to Presence. Knitter writes: “if we can truly be mind-ful of what is going on in us or around us — that’s how we can find or feel ‘the Spirit’ in it. Then our response to the situation will be originating from the Spirit rather than from our knee-jerk feelings of fear or anger or envy. And whether the response is to endure bravely or to act creatively, it will be done with understanding and compassion — which means it will be life-giving or life-creating.”