Our theme thing month is healing, specifically what it means to be a community of healing.
One of my teachers long ago would often use the phrase “to increase the odds on love.”
There was something about the phrase that seemed off at first, but grew on me in time. There are no guarantees with love, and so often the best we can do is to lean in to make it more possible.
With that in mind, our question this month might be “How does a faith community increase the odds on wholeness?”
Well, we might begin by paying attention to one another and those around us, something we do quite well, by and large.
All the same, healing is something we usually think of in individual terms, not communal ones.
And beyond that? How can we increase the odds on healing in a wider sense?
In response, I can’t help but remember what Don Wheat, former minister of one of our congregations in Chicago, once said, “When you don’t give people the chance to say I hurt, they end up saying I hate.”
From the personal to the political scene, I notice the truth of that just about everywhere I look.
I hurt. Such simple words. Such hard ones, all too often, to utter. They can also be hard words to hear.
So maybe that’s one thing we can focus on this October, to keep our ears open to expressions of people saying I hurt. It doesn’t mean we have to, or even can, fix these hurts. Simply recognizing them, and respecting them, is often healing in itself.
Like so many things in life, listening for expressions of hurt takes practice. No one is perfect at it. So this is what I’ll be practicing this autumn month. Join me, won’t you?
With that said, let me remind you that we’ll be starting up our Covenant Groups this month. If you are curious, but have not yet registered, please be in touch as soon as possible. As I mentioned last month, these are not discussion groups, bug gatherings in which people listen to one another reflect on the challenges, joys and questions of life.
In case you haven’t guessed it, the keyword in all of this is listen.
See you at church,