engaged

“The opposite of love is not hate.  It is indifference.”  Ellie Wiesel

Wednesdays are dense and luscious for me.

I begin my day at eight AM with a table full of wonderful men.  We gather together for Bible study.  They have been doing this for decades, these men.  They let me join in.

I learn much at that table.  We talk about many things (studying scripture does that) together.  We are diverse as can be.  Gender, generations and political ideologies stretch us to hear and understand in a way grounded in the power of the Christ.  We see each other in a more fulsome way.  We aren’t sword wielders for a cause, we are people full of holy passion for life and learning and we trust each other enough to share our sense of things in a way that invites listening.  At that table I am a deeper and finer thing than merely Pastor.  I am sister in Christ.

On Wednesday nights I meet with a wonderful collection of humans who come together to explore Christian discipleship.  We are exploring Wesleyan theology and what it means to be an accountable disciple in the way of John Wesley.  Wesley knew how we need each other in order to grow into our fullness.  On Wednesday nights, we are able to explore words that jangle and stretch:  sin and salvation, grace and justice.  The room hums with the power of the collected souls.  We are kin in Christ and the joy of our mindful seeking permeates the places of tired and despair that walk in us each.

There is much the church is not.  Sometimes people seize on the “is not” with a seeming glee.  Armed with conviction about the glaring flaws, distance is cultivated and tended.

But there are others.  Others who practice the engagement of being willing to hear the heart of another and in that hearing know the soundings of the Holy.

Indifference is a choice.

I’m moved by those who choose engagement.  My life and the lives the engaged are blessed to lead are the better for it.

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