Posts Tagged ‘Psalm 46:10

20
Mar
18

3.20.18 … be still, brother and sister saints. and blessings on this first day of spring …

Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2018 Lenten Labyrinth Walks (35/40), The Jack Matney Memorial Labyrinth Courtyard/Novant Presbyterian Hospital – Charlotte NC, Vernal Equinox 2018, Rev. Wes Barry, Karen Wright Marsh’s Vintage Saints and Sinners, Psalm 46:10:

As I walked into Novant’s Presbyterian Main Hospital, I saw a sign that read “Naming Opportunities.” Hmmm …

I always look around when I begin my walk. The first thing I noticed here today was the large quotation on the wall which begins, “AND YET: BE STILL.”

I have walked this labyrinth many times, and never before have my legs been brushed by the bushes on the left side of the labyrinth at the outermost outside circuit. Since it is the first day of spring, I wondered if this is new spring growth.

As I was on the return, I had a really powerful sneeze. And my thoughts immediately went to the discussion of Balaam’s blessings which I had just had at my Tuesday Morning Bible class. I laughed at myself because whenever I hear a sneeze, even mine, I say, “God bless you.” Does anyone else say “God bless you” to themselves?

At this point, I remembered that there is a prayer wall incorporated within the garden that contains the labyrinth. It sits below the quotation that reads, “AND YET: BE STILL FOR HEALING MOST LIKELY WHISPERS.” And for the first time I noticed multiple pieces of paper stuffed into the niches of the prayer wall. So I think I will take my “God bless you” for myself and instead say it to those that have asked for prayers. God bless you.

I have searched for the source of the quote “AND YET: BE STILL FOR HEALING MOST LIKELY WHISPERS.” But I cannot find one. It always takes me to my favorite Old Testament verse, Psalm 46:10: “Be still and know that I am God.” I realize that I am not alone in claiming this verse as my favorite. As a matter of fact, The Henri Nouwen Society sent out this daily meditation today:

“Be still and acknowledge that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). These are words to take with us in our busy lives. We may think about stillness in contrast to our noisy world. But perhaps we can go further and keep an inner stillness even while we carry on business, teach, work in construction, make music, or organise meetings.

It is important to keep a still place in the “marketplace.” This still place is where God can dwell and speak to us. It also is the place from where we can speak in a healing way to all the people we meet in our busy days. Without that still space we start spinning. We become driven people, running all over the place without much direction. But with that stillness God can be our gentle guide in everything we think, say, or do.

Source: Henri Nouwen Society | A Still Place in the Market – Henri Nouwen Society, http://henrinouwen.org/meditation/still-place-market/

As for naming opportunities, I have struggled with how I name myself. “Christian” is too cumbersome and has negative connotations. I like this recent blog post from Wes Barry, a minister here in Charlotte (pastor at Waypoint Community Church and former Associate Pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Charlotte and a Davidson grad, too):

Fun fact–the followers of Christ never describe themselves as “Christian” in the Bible. The term originated by the Gentiles in Antioch (Acts 11:26), was used by King Agrippa (Acts 26:28) while Paul was on trial, and referenced by Peter (1 Peter 4:16) as a derogatory term used by the surrounding culture.

Why does that really matter? Because the terms that were used by the followers of Jesus to link them together were familial and missional terminology.

They were “brothers and sisters” or “Disciples” (followers) or “Apostles” (sent ones) or “saints” (holy…set apart ones). The call of Christ followers is to be forming a familial bond with each other. Our connection is as adopted heirs into the family of Jesus who has invited us to come and see (Disciples) so we can go and be (Apostles).

Instead of calling each other by a label, the followers of Jesus chose to call each other by their relational status or their missional purpose.

Source: Devotion: Why I Don’t Call Myself a Christian – Wes Barry, https://wbbarry.com/2018/03/19/devotion-why-i-dont-call-myself-a-christian/

So I have a naming opportunity everyday. I realize that naming opportunities in the hospital refers to giving large amounts so my name will be on a bench, a room, a facility or even a labyrinth. But what name do I want to be on me.

And that thought leads me back to my Tuesday Morning Bible Study. I will lead the study in April and the book I will use is Karen Wright Marsh’s Vintage Saints and Sinners. I met Karen as a teenager when she moved to Atlanta. I’m excited about leading a discussion of her book and went to a recent book signing in Atlanta. She signed my book, “To Dennard, a sister saint … A long the way! Blessings, Karen Wright Marsh” Sister saint, I like that.

be still, brother and sister saints. and blessings on this first day of spring.

3.20.18

20
Mar
17

3.20.17 … “I discovered that I felt at home and alive in silence, which compelled me to enter my interior world and walk around there. Silence itself had become my teacher.” – Karen Armstrong

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2017 Lenten Labyrinth Walks (Walk 20/40), The Labyrinth at Morning Star Lutheran Chapel, Matthews NC, Psalm 46:10:

The fountain’s on; the sun is low on this vernal equinox, and the chimes are ringing.

They have sandblasted this labyrinth recently; I assume to remove the moss. So it feels rather naked. And there’s very little in bloom here besides a few ornamental trees. The flowers on the graves appear to be plastic. Since we have had such an early spring, I was not expecting this wintry feel today.

As I finish my work through the rosettes, the chimes began to ring again. It’s one of those days where I came in a little out of sorts, and now I feel more relaxed and healthier.

And I am grateful for the melody of the birds …

From James Howell:

Recently, I visited a women’s Bible study that had been meeting weekly for fifteen years. When I asked how much they had grown, they laughed: “We have more questions and are more confused than when we started.” This was not an admission of failure or frustration, but a testimony to deep joy. What we don’t know, the craving for union with God and a yearning to be holier: these are the delights of prayer.

One of the reasons we fast during Lent is to practice and come to understand the whole business of not satisfying every desire. It’s counter-cultural – but so lovely. Desire is good. Even our desire for worldly, trivial things can be a signpost to redirect us to our holy desire for God.

Lord, I get mixed up, thinking my cloudy vision of you, and my ongoing hankering for more, are problems. Teach me the delight of the quest, the pleasure of more questions, the privilege it is to be thirsty for you, the one I never grasp but only love and adore.

James

“Be still and acknowledge that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). These are words to take with us in our busy lives. We may think about stillness in contrast to our noisy world. But perhaps we can go further and keep an inner stillness even while we carry on business, teach, work in construction, make music, or organise meetings.

It is important to keep a still place in the “marketplace.” This still place is where God can dwell and speak to us. It also is the place from where we can speak in a healing way to all the people we meet in our busy days. Without that still space we start spinning. We become driven people, running all over the place without much direction. But with that stillness God can be our gentle guide in everything we think, say, or do.

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” – Psalm 19: 14 (NIV)

“I discovered that I felt at home and alive in silence, which compelled me to enter my interior world and walk around there. Silence itself had become my teacher.” – Karen Armstrong, The Spiral Staircase

Source: Henri Nouwen Society | A Still Place in the Market – Henri Nouwen Society, http://henrinouwen.org/meditation/still-place-market/

That is the real story of my lift, and that is why I wrote this book. I want people to know what it feels like to nearly give up on yourself and why you might do it. I want people to understand what happens in the lives of the poor and the psychological impact that spiritual and material poverty has on their children. I want people to understand the American Dream as my family and I encountered it. I want people to understand how upward mobility really feels. And I want people to understand something I learned only recently: that for those of us lucky enough to live the American Dream, the demons of the life we left behind continue to chase us.

J.D. Vance, Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis

Peace on this first day of spring.

3.20.17

04
Mar
15

3.3.15 … Definitely not raining. Not quite a drizzle. More than a mist … Real time … moss crosses … Be Still … Blessed are the merciful …


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“Solvitur  Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2015 Advent Labyrinth Walks 12/40,   Avondale Presbyterian Church – Charlotte:

Because it is so heavily overcast, really misting, the street lamps have come on even though it is only 3:30.
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It is strange that the last week of daylight savings time and next week will “enter” daylight savings time.  I think we live in a strange world where we humans will  artificially adjust the daytime to fit our needs.  I think my body really does work best on just plain old “real” time. I think I would like to get up when the sun rises and go to bed when the sun sets. 🙂
Definitely not raining. Not quite a drizzle.  More than a mist.
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And my mantra today was the modified Psalm 46:10 that I first heard in the video clip shown at TMBS:
Be still and know that I am God
Be still and know that I am
Be still and know
Be still
Be
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As I walked, I looked  for “moss crosses.” The only place I’ve ever found one is at Davidson College when I walked with Ann. Thank you, Ann. I would’ve walked without even noticing it. They’re not very many labyrinths that would encourage the growth of moss. Davidson College is the location of the one I saw with Ann.  But Avondale is one where I could find a moss cross. I will continue to look down as I walk slowly.  So in a funny way, I am looking between the cracks.
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My mind is going to mile a minute: For some reason, I think of my husband’s brother who loves eyes, the “windows to your soul.”  I take my first “eye selfie.” (And yes, I need to master brow liner.)
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I also think and reread James Howell’s Lenten e-mail refection of yesterday, 3.2.15.  Reading James’ reflections, I realize that I don’t really understand what it means to be merciful.  …

“Merciful” is not just an inner attitude, although it is an inner attitude.  “Merciful” is something you do.  You get busy being merciful.  You are prepared at a moment’s notice to let the schedule be shredded, for like that Good Samaritan, you see somebody beaten up by the side of the road, and instead of guessing why he’s in the pickle he’s in, instead of being so ultra-responsible as to be punctual for your next meeting, you are merciful.  Otherwise we live merely in earshot of Jesus, and never get close to the one who said, “Blessed are the merciful,” the one who was and is Mercy itself.

Mercy frees me from self-centeredness.  Pouring myself out of my own ego trap is the way to joy.  Mercy frees me from the need to “fix” whatever is wrong.  Mercy is able quite simply to love, to be compassionate, whether the hurt is curable or not, whether the wrong can be righted or not.  Mercy can just stay with the one in need of mercy.

via Myers Park United Methodist Church | Charlotte Methodist Church, Methodist Churches Charlotte NC – Myers Park UMC.

My mind then wanders to my relationships that have been renewed, changed or even entered into because of the labyrinth.  My list of people that I have connected with through my labyrinth walking:
Mary
Mary Stewart
Cheryl
Ruth Anne
Heather
Ann
Elizabeth
Caryn
My Wasabees …
Debbie
Erika
… more to come.
Blessings!
And yes, it is only the second week of Lent and these were in my local Harris Teeter … So I ask … Who buys pre- dyed Easter eggs?!  And even if you do, who buys pre – dyed Easter eggs more than a month before Easter?
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I can’t  make this stuff up!!

 

20
Feb
15

2.20.15 … Step 6: We came to see that, despite often feeling stressed by the demands of life, taking time every day to be in stillness, provides a “peace” that is essential to our well-being. We are more present, available and willing to see the mystery of serendipity and coincidence. We are loved / The Red Boot Coalition …

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2015 Lenten Labyrinth Walks 3/40,  Avondale Presbyterian Church – Charlotte NC, Step 6: We are loved / The Red Boot Coalition:

Chimes … Beautiful today. It was 25°, but it’s unbelievably sunny, so it did not feel cold.
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On the phone while walking … But this friend keeps me centered so I enjoyed the  conversation at the center.
Be still … I focused on Psalm 46:10. But I used it for thinking of it in this way as I just saw this video at a class on Tuesday a week ago …  Be Still meditation … http://www.theworkofthepeople.com/be-still
There was ice on the labyrinth in the spots where the shade normally is. That made for interesting contrast as well as an interesting extra effort as you walk across the ice. It made the walk very intentional at times.
iPhone expired; therefore there are very few pics.
I also reviewed in my mind the Red Boot Coalition meeting that I had attended this morning.   We focused on Step 6.

Step 6: We are loved

We came to see that, despite often feeling stressed by the demands of life, taking time every day to be in stillness, provides a “peace” that is essential to our well-being. We are more present, available and willing to see the mystery of serendipity and coincidence.

We are loved.

via Step 6: We are loved / The Red Boot Coalition.

I had so many thoughts in my head. These were some of the things we talked about in connection with Step 6 …

Paulo Coelho, The Alchemy of Pilgrimage | On Being:

PAULO COELHO —

The Alchemy of Pilgrimage

The Brazilian lyricist Paulo Coelho is best known for his book, The Alchemist — which has been on the New York Times bestseller list for over 300 weeks. His fable-like stories turn life, love, writing, and reading into pilgrimage. In a rare conversation, we meet the man behind the writings and explore what he’s touched in modern people.

via Paulo Coelho — The Alchemy of Pilgrimage | On Being.

http://bit.ly/Y8wMm3

Oliver Sacks on Learning He Has Terminal Cancer, NYTimes.com:  I am not sure what impressed me most about this essay … just read the whole thing.

And yet, one line from Hume’s essay strikes me as especially true: “It is difficult,” he wrote, “to be more detached from life than I am at present.”

Over the last few days, I have been able to see my life as from a great altitude, as a sort of landscape, and with a deepening sense of the connection of all its parts. This does not mean I am finished with life.

On the contrary, I feel intensely alive, and I want and hope in the time that remains to deepen my friendships, to say farewell to those I love, to write more, to travel if I have the strength, to achieve new levels of understanding and insight.

This will involve audacity, clarity and plain speaking; trying to straighten my accounts with the world. But there will be time, too, for some fun (and even some silliness, as well).

I feel a sudden clear focus and perspective. There is no time for anything inessential. I must focus on myself, my work and my friends. I shall no longer look at “NewsHour” every night. I shall no longer pay any attention to politics or arguments about global warming.

via Oliver Sacks on Learning He Has Terminal Cancer – NYTimes.com.

And this is a great reinterpretation of Psalm 46:10Be Still and know that I am God.

Barbara Brown Taylor’s book on Darkness:

I loved this …

If I had my way, I would eliminate everything from chronic back pain to the fear of the devil from my life and the lives of those I love — if I could just find the right night lights to leave on.

Just from the title, I know that I’m going to get some candles and do a nighttime labyrinth walk in the next 10 days. I just need to.

via Barbara Brown Taylor’s Learning to Walk in the Dark | Dennard’s Clipping Service.

Dealing with the Psychological and Spiritual Aspects of Menopause: menopause midlife spiritual …  Dealing with the Psychological and Spiritual Aspects of Menopause: Finding … – Dana E King, Melissa Hunter, Jerri Harris, Harold G Koenig – Google Books.

Enjoy your day!!

 

04
Apr
14

4.4.14 … Yet Also: Be Still … For Healing Most … Likely Whispers …

“Solvitur  Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2014 Lenten labyrinth walks,   The Jack Matney Memorial Labyrinth Courtyard/Presbyterian Hospital  – Charlotte (27/40):
I was at the Novant Outpatient Surgery Center today with a family member, so I knew where I would be walking today.
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A few observations about this labyrinth:
* the labrinth is a full Chartres and has the correct number of petals, 6, in the center.
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*there is a prayer wall with niches for people to insert a writtne prayer.
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On the wall is this:
Yet Also: Be Still … For Healing Most … Likely Whispers.
I searched the quote and could not find the basis.  I really like it because it relates to my favorite Psalm.
Be still and know that I am God. – Psalm 46:10
*Also on the Prayer wall are these two series of words, painted on concrete one series on top of the other:
giving, intercession, comfession, release, thanksgiving, intercession, confession, release, thanks –
joy, love, acceptance, peace, joy, love, acceptance, peace , joy, love, acceptance, peace
And the walk …
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I also discovered an area with information about this labyrinth and labyrinths in general.
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And there is a new art installation going up.  It is only partially done.
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The first project, a remembrance wall, is an artfully sculptured, tiled painting that will provide a special way to acknowledge and remember loved ones. Designed and created by artist Tom Schulz, the remembrance wall will have 400 tiles of varying colors from earth to sky. Presbyterian Hospice will soon begin taking $1,000 donations for each tile in memory or honor of loved ones, and this remembrance opportunity is open to anyone in the community.

via Presbyterian Cancer Center HEALTHeJourney – Announcing Two New Projects for the Jack Matney Memorial Labyrinth.

Blessings!
And here is some additional info about this labyrinth:

Back to the garden, I was taken with the prayer wall and its theme:  “Yet also be still, for healing most likely whispers”

Prayer Wall-Presbyterian Hospital, Charlotte

Prayers and prayer requests may be inserted into the openings in the wall.  I thought about what a good feeling a person could have while sharing their needs or prayers with others in the garden.

via A labyrinth in a meditation garden | Johntheplantman’s stories, musings, and gardening..

A diverse prayer wall ministry, which includes social workers, bereavement counselors, and chaplains, has organically emerged to act as stewards – gathering up prayer concerns and taking them (anonymously) into the greater community.

Making them concrete.

via Presbyterian Hospital Jack Matney Labyrinth and Couryard — empathinc..

20
Mar
14

3.20.14 … “It is important to keep a still place in the “marketplace.” This still place is where God can dwell and speak to us. It also is the place from where we can speak in a healing way to all the people we meet in our busy days. Without that still space we start spinning. We become driven people, running all over the place without much direction. But with that stillness God can be our gentle guide in everything we think, say, or do.”

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2014 Lenten Labyrinth Walks,  (14/40), The Cathedral of St. Phillips – Atlanta, vernal equinox:
As I am driving south on Peachtree Rd. approaching the Cathedral my right, I see the beautiful cherry trees in full bloom. There are two colors: a pale pink and a deep pink.  As I turn into the parking lot, I stopped to take a picture. I realize there’s a woman with a very professional-looking camera also taking pictures. I realize that there is at least one tree with both shades of thinking the same tree. I did not realize that was possible.
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I laughed as I got out of my car … I felt like someone was watching over me:
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The labyrinth this morning is in the shade and is  still damp from the morning dew.  It is cool, but not cold. The birds are chirping loudly. Hello, Spring!
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Atlanta is the perfect place to experience the first day of spring. In many places, it is hardly ever spring-like. Atlanta almost always shines on the vernal equinox.photo 3-1

As I approach the labyrinth, I see and hear a group of three men who appear to be about my age, talking loudly and laughing, more like guffawing, and smoking. They have deep Southern voices. I hear bits and pieces of their conversation. One is talking about his mother and paying taxes. I guess it’s that time of year. Rick is one.  As they leave, one says, “bye-bye.”  One whistles as he walks away.
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A few from the path …
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I shared this space today.  The first to join me was an attractive 30-ish woman. She walks once a month. She did not want to chat, and I respect that. She walks the labyrinth without her shoes in black tights. I wonder if she is/was a dancer. She is very intentional about how she walks and where she places her feet. It is peaceful to watch her.
As I leave, a rough-looking man walks up. He immediately tells me that his husband of 4 years beat cancer today and he is taking a “serenity walk” to celebrate.  “Thank you Jesus.” He mentions his 18-year-old son.  He attempts to talk to the woman.  He tells her he has a walk at his home in Charleston. He only walks about 2 circuits and then walks away. I look back and see that he is carrying 2 trash bags with him. Is he homeless? Is anything true? What is his reality?  I hope he found serenity for a moment. Since he used the word “serenity”, I am wondering if he is in AA.
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As I went through my e-mail this morning, I found this Henri Nouwen devotional.  Since it focuses on my  favorite Psalm, Psalm 46:10, I will reprint it here:
A Still Place in the Market
“Be still and acknowledge that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).  These are words to take with us in our busy lives.  We may think about stillness in contrast to our noisy world.  But perhaps we can go further and keep an inner stillness even while we carry on business, teach, work in construction, make music, or organise meetings.
It is important to keep a still place in the “marketplace.”  This still place is where God can dwell and speak to us.  It also is the place from where we can speak in a healing way to all the people we meet in our busy days.  Without that still space we start spinning.  We become driven people, running all over the place without much direction.  But with that stillness God can be our gentle guide in everything we think, say, or do.
As I drive back from the labyrinth, I bypass busy Peachtree and take one of my favorite Atlanta drives, Habersham Road. I am amazed,  as always,  at how gorgeous Atlanta is in late March/early April. The daffodils are out as well as the pansies. You could not ask for a more beautiful drive.
And I see my first yard sign for my brothers campaign (although I think I am not technically in GA’s 11th Congressional District.  I am very proud of him for taking this risk.
Enjoy Spring!
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20
Mar
13

3.20.13 … my favorite verse with a twist … “Be still and acknowledge that I am God” … A Still Place in the Market …

Henri Nouwen, Psalm 46:10, know/acknowledge, Be Still, favorites, FPC 2013 PW Retreat, Kanuga :  I very much enjoy The Henri Nouwen Society’s daily meditations.  Today his service (he is deceased) focused on my favorite bible verse.  I will remember that it is important to keep a still place in the market. I am also interested in their translation and the use of the term “acknowledge” rather that “know.”

I also loved hearing the story at the FPC PW Retreat of how one woman wanted to hear Nouwen speak at Kanuga and when a snow storm came through and made it impossible for some to attend, she got a seat!  It was meant to be.

A Still Place in the Market

“Be still and acknowledge that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).  These are words to take with us in our busy lives.  We may think about stillness in contrast to our noisy world.  But perhaps we can go further and keep an inner stillness even while we carry on business, teach, work in construction, make music, or organise meetings.

It is important to keep a still place in the “marketplace.”  This still place is where God can dwell and speak to us.  It also is the place from where we can speak in a healing way to all the people we meet in our busy days.  Without that still space we start spinning.  We become driven people, running all over the place without much direction.  But with that stillness God can be our gentle guide in everything we think, say, or do.

via Daily Meditation: A Still Place in the Market.

I found this online …

Henri Nouwen talked with his hands. He told stones, mostly about himself. Most of aU, I remember a story told and a story lived.

Henry told about being invited to visit The Hermitage in Russia to see Rembrandt’s “Return of the Prodigal.” Other viewers filed by at a rapid clip, but he was allowed to sit in a chair for two hours and just look. He looked at the figures in the background, the father and the broken son.

The father had both hands on the boy’s shoulders. One hand was the gnarled hand of a working man. The other, Nouwen said with a dramatic pause, was the delicate, tapered hand—”of a wotnan”! God suddenly became larger for this Catholic priest.

It was a stunning moment. Over four hundred people—power people, mostly—looked through Nouwen’s eyes and saw the feminine nature of God. People wept.

Later, as Nouwen told about the L’Arche Daybreak Community in Toronto, where he served, he told about his friend Bill, a mentally handicapped man who was in the scholar’s care.

Bill was on the stage with Henry, as was a nun from Daybreak. When Henri invited Bill to come to the microphones and speak, I remember thinking that people had come a long way to hear the Dutch scholar, not Bill.

To give Bill support, Nouwen stood next to him at the microphone. Bill was overcome by the prospect of speaking. He simply laid his head on Nouwen’s shoulder and wept.

A room filled with church leaders suddenly glimpsed the incarnate nature of true ministiy. Our work isn ‘t about liturgies that we fight over, buildings that we fight over, books of worship that we fight over, hymnals that we fight over, small bits of institutional power that we fight over, or doctrines that we are willing to kill over. Our work is to stand next to one another and provide a shoulder for weeping.

via The Wayward, Wanton, and Wasteful Daughter | Reformed Worship.




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