Week Three: Bearing the Gift

By Katie Harmon-McLaughlin

“As Christ’s body, lovingly and patiently bear the weight of criticism from those who hesitate to respond to the divine vision of human worth and equality in Christ. This burden and blessing is yours for divine purposes.” -2013 Words of Counsel, Community of Christ

It is not easy.
That was never a guarantee.
This is the gift you bear–
Burden and blessing.

How do you even explain what’s happening?
Something coming alive in you–
This throbbing hope,
This ancient yearning.

What if it doesn’t make sense?
What if others don’t understand?
What if it changes you?
What if conviction for the vision
Awakening within
Turns into courage
Then action
Then reality?

It never has come easy.
Why, then, is it worth the risk?
What is it that captures the heart
Into moving in love toward
What is otherwise rejected?

Sometimes you can’t get comfortable
No matter how hard you try.
Once the God-vision
Has come alive in you
It is all you can see
Even in devastation
And division
And hatred
And fear.

Especially then
It makes itself known
A holy disruption
A new, old way
Aching to be born.

This time it is impossible
To avoid seeing what needs to be seen
To avoid doing what needs to be done
To avoid feeling what needs to be felt.
You know now that it’s not
For someone else
In some other place
At some other time.

And you feel the gift you bear,
Burden and blessing,
Growing in anticipation–
The whole creation
Groaning in anticipation.

In every unlikely
And likely place,
This gift you bear
Kicks and turns within
Forming for labor
Forming for life.

Spiritual Practice: Breathe deeply and pay attention to the deepest hope that rises up within you. When is it a blessing? When is it a burden? How are the burden and blessing for divine purposes in your life and the world?

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