Word of the Week

Only days into this Advent season and I already felt more aware of the pain in our world than ever . . .

The pain of our poor choices

The pain of refusal to face the consequences of our poor choices

The pain of our inability to live together as a diversity human family

Then, like many of you, I came home two evenings ago to find my tv and online feed filled with responses to yet another tragedy, San Bernardino, CA.

14 people death, 21 injured. What?!?


I sat in the ashes of yet another lament and these words from the Dalai Lama were the only things that brought me any solace.


For he speaks to the heart of the matter.

First, our obsession with success.

I thought about how so many of us go to work every day seeking to do something that gives us a leg up for the next day, the next month, the next year. For us.

I thought about how so many of us judge our yearly accomplishments by our salary bracket, our retirement accounts, and our number of Facebook friends.

I thought about how many times I've shinned up my elevator speech of "what I do" in effort of you to see me as I hope you see me.

And how this fronting is a waste of our precious days on earth!

And second, how the pain in our world begs us to re-focus on healing.

Our world needs us to take our place in the global community. The world needs us to be healers through peacemaking, through our storytelling, and through our love.

And where is it going to come from? St. Teresa of Avila once exhorted no where but from us!

"Christ has no body now on earth but yours; no hands but yours; no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes through which is to look out Christ's compassion to the world. Yours are the feet which he is to go about doing good. Yours are the hands with which he is to bless now."

I love the inclusiveness of this passage (no one for lack of this or that is off the hook!)

For we ALL can participate in God's healing work on earth.

And we ALL have our unique contributions to make in our circles of influence.

It could be texting a friend who we know is walking through a difficult season or making a sick neighbor a casserole. Being the hands of compassion.

It could be lingering long over a coffee date with a friend or around the kitchen table with one of our children to hear an important story. Being in the ears of compassion.

It could be reorganizing our monthly budget to make a contribution to an organization seeking to curb gun violence in the US or care for refugees or orphans abroad. Being the funder of compassion.

It could be taking stock of our vocational lives or how we spend most of our time and re-aligning ourselves with activities that bring hope to others. Being the feet of compassion.

We all have callings of healing as unique as we are!

These callings might not bring us fame or fortune or even a "thanks for a job well done," but it's the work God has called us to. It's the work that our world needs us to do. And it's the work that will fill our broken places.

It's how Christ will keep coming to earth.