Monday night I drove back from Little Rock where I was helping care for my 88-year-old father who had been in the hospital the week before. As his health improved over last weekend, what had been a difficult situation with congestive heart failure and possible blood clots in his legs became an opportunity to hear and record stories about some of the most formative times in his life. From when he got a letter from his father about the draft notification that came in 1950, to his final days as a pilot in the U.S. Air Force in 1955, he shared sacred stories that shaped his (and so also my) life.
Today in Wesley Hall, many of us watched a film about “Aging: What’s Normal? What’s Not?” with Teepa Snow, expert on Alzheimer’s and dementia. I couldn’t help but think about the many sacred stories in our community that go unheard. And I wondered how we as a church can better honor those sacred, soulful stories as a way of honoring people across the generations.
And just last night we met with the Board of Stewards. At that gathering, we talked about ways we might become increasingly intentional and effective at building teams to work on specific needs for ongoing care of our church family. (Thanks to all who participated, and especially Danica Knight whose heartfelt leadership is indispensable.) Many sacred stories throughout our church are just waiting to be told, heard, and honored.
It has been almost two years since I wrote about “Soulful Stories and Sacred Callings” as it related to a day retreat we had just taken with clergy of our church. It was a powerful time of deep listening and new beginnings. Though in the ensuing months we were obliged to deal with multiple crises that took a great amount of time and energy, we are coming to a place of new beginnings as we become increasingly intentional about discerning our unique call as a community and how we might live that out faithfully. And throughout 2017 and beyond, we will be working with a consultant who will help us truly hear and honor the sacred stories all around us.
And that is where this “Efficiency of the Holy Spirit” becomes an experienced reality. As we hear and tell the stories of our lives in ways that help us recognize the soulful-sacredness of all life, we are awakened to the wonder of connections. We then discover that we become more aware of the flow of God’s grace that weaves a way of connection and meaning that ultimately is many times more efficient than our most sophisticated, logical, and linear ways of thinking.
I invite you to pay more attention this week to the sacred stories around you just waiting to be heard. As these stories are heard and honored, windows of grace open up and efficiently make more meaningful connections and work more wonders than we can ask or imagine.
Grace and peace as you go on your sacred journey,
Blog from two years ago: “Hearing Soulful-Stories and Sacred Callings”