"But the only letter of recommendation we need is you yourselves! Your lives are a letter written in our hearts, and everyone can read it and recognize our good work among you. Clearly, you are a letter from Christ prepared by us. It is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on stone, but on human hearts (2 Corinthians 3:2-3)"
One of the best feelings in life is to feel drained for all the right reasons. I'm guessing that this is how many of us feel after this weekend's school for conversion. It was a wonderful time with a wonderful group of people who opened their hearts to our community in an amazing way. I can honestly say that this event was one of the most encouraging things that I have experienced in a long time. I guess it is easy to be encouraged when something that you are a part of is in the temporary "spotlight." However, this was not the reason why I was so encouraged by this weekend. The reason why I was so heartened by our time together is because the more we shared about our foibles, our shortcomings, and the struggles that we have had (and have)together as a community, the more that it seemed like our guests were encouraged and inspired. Wow! Does this make any sense to the common mind! Well, it is beginning to make more sense to me and it is something that I think is an incredibly powerful liberating force for all of us who want to TRY to take on the tough questions in life knowing that there probably won't be any definitive answers, just the fragile hope that doing the right thing will inevitably lead us deeper into the beauty of life and closer to the ultimate artist who created it. Trying to live in solidarity with the tough questions and follow Jesus is tremendously difficult at times, and the hardest part is that one of the main things that is meant to sustain us in this journey (relationship with each other) is often times the cause of the greatest struggle and doubt! How can we get around this dilemma? Well, in my opinion one of the only definitive answers is that we can't get around it. We have to believe in relationships and continue to invest in them no matter what. The relationships that we build and the experience that we share together are, I think, the highest form of art. The greatest beauty that we can create is what we create in each other, in the way that we mold, shape, and color each others lives in a manner that leads us toward God's shalom (the epitome of beauty). I thought that this weekend was a great example of this kind of creative exchange and I was tremendously blessed by every aspect of it. So, thanks to all of the SFC participants who have shared their lives, hearts, and dreams with us this past weekend. I hope that we can continue to live the dreams together......to be one another's letter to the world about the goodness and love of God.