“practicing what we preach” is a lot easier said than done! like most everyone, i’d rather preach it than practice it. it’s fun to talk about community, to dream about community, to advocate for community. and to actually live it is a whole different story. i am very grateful to live in a community that challenges me in a place where everything i believe-in-the-depths-of-my-heart-when-it-comes-to-what-Jesus-meant-about-love-and-life-together intersects with my real life. i am always faced with a choice–will i see it through or run from it? trust me, “run, as fast you can!” often rattles through my head and i start fantasizing about ways to escape the messiness of it all. but then i feel this quiet, deep, and powerful pull to stay. to fight. to try. to practice. to show up. to love. to learn. listen. to humble myself. to be willing to let God work in the deeper thing that has nothing to do with what’s going on above the surface.
so that’s where i’m at this friday. thankful for the journey. tired that it is sometimes so hard. challenged to keep growing and learning and play my little part in the bigger story. hopeful that God never leaves me, never leaves us, and is always restoring and redeeming what is broken and showing us a better way.
this past wednesday at our house of refuge we wrapped up our summer journey through down we go: living into the wild ways of Jesus. the last chapter is called “born again and again and again” and it was what i needed to be reminded of this week. i want to be a person who is always being born again. and again. and again. this is the prayer that i read at the end of our group and sits at the end of the book, too. i cried when i read it because i needed the reminder of what i so deeply believe and why this downward journey is really worth it.
i thought i’d share it here, too, especially for any of you who might need a little extra reminder of why you may have chosen this path. have a good weekend!
God, may we continually humble ourselves and acknowledge our weakness, insufficiencies, and spiritual poverty. May our hearts be soft, open, willing to be changed even at great cost to our security and pride.
God, may we radically include the forgotten, the rejected, the marginalized, and the oppressed as a reflection of your love. May our tables be open and welcoming, with Christ’s spirit binding us all together, despite our differences. May men and women, black and white, rich and poor, gay and straight, educated and uneducated, single and married, and everything in between, live side-by-side and be equally loved, respected and included.
God, may we cultivate compassion in our hearts and our actions so that the hurting will feel your healing touch. May we never be too busy to love. May we be the people who stop, who care when no one else does, who listen, bandage wounds, carry folks to the hospital, and ooze mercy.
God, may we boldly enter into deep and challenging incarnational relationship with each other to keep practicing your ways of love. May we get tangled up with other people, sharing the good, bad and ugly. May we be dedicated to people who get on our nerves and drive us crazy. May we share resources, carry each other’s burdens, and pray intensely for each other, remembering that how we love each other is how we love the world.
God, keep showing us the way, guiding us as we stumble, practice and try.
Give us courage to keep following you down.