advent II redux...

One thing I failed to articulate yesterday about the conflict in my calling was that I have always trusted that the local church MUST be a place of both deep and tender compassion, and, profound commitment to the social good. It is NOT an either or proposition even though I find my greatest personal nourishment in attending to the work of the soul. That is what my mentor, Ray Swartzback, taught me: social activists must be connected to the local church; just as local congregations must stay engaged with social transformation.This is part of what the John the Baptist/Jesus continuum teaches us.

And over 40 years, the Spirit has helped me not only connect deeply with individuals in the work of discipleship and spiritual direction, but become more tender in the process. Of course I can be an asshole at times. Further, I remain committed to the work of radical compassion and peace-making even as my focus has been given to smaller and smaller venues. Jean Vanier once wrote:

Jesus did not come in power and majesty but as a lamb, in humility and littleness… Jesus was not spectacular. He dressed simply. He did not live in the desert of the prophets nor the mansions of royalty, but in an obscure village with ordinary people like us… further, Jesus came into the world from out of the womb of a woman (who some thought was tarnished… an ordinary woman) who shared with him her presence, her love, her warmth, even the nourishment of her breasts…

Today I honor the blessings shared with me in the call to littleness even as I work on big projects. I am grateful beyond measure that God has helped me become less brusque and more quiet. May that transformation continue forever.


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