Distanced Socializing- 49
Our Tuesday devotional is prepared by Liz Bady, a member of our faith community.
Scripture: Ephesians 4:2
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient bearing with one another in love.” (NIV)
And mark that you do this with humility and discipline - not in fits and starts, but steadily, pouring yourselves out for each other in acts of love…” (The Message)
Another week has gone by in this “New Time” in which we are all living. Larry and I seem to watch the news non-stop. This week has brought two incidents that have
taken our minds away from Covid-19 in a very disheartening way. I want to write about the woman in Central Park who made a decision she will forever (rightly) regret. I also want to reflect on the birdwatcher, whom I feel was patient and compassionate.
“It is contemplation that leads us most powerfully into compassion. It is true that, because of the solidarity of the human race, and the more profound oneness of the baptized Christ, whenever any one of us rises through contemplation to new levels of consciousness the whole human family is raised. Any bit of leaven will leaven the entire mass.” — From Basil Pennington in, Living with Apocalypse.
I am not going to make any judgments about the Central Park woman’s experience with contemplation. I only know that, for myself, I have to do a lot of contemplation at all times. I have to constantly think and measure my thoughts and actions toward other people. If I assume that I am being kind, nonjudgmental, open, honest and not prejudiced in any way, then, in many instances, I am wrong. I am not saying that I do any of this well or that it keeps me from judgement and/or bad thinking. However, I do find that contemplation, reflecting on how I am in the world helps me toward the right track. And, being a person of faith helps and encourages me to remember to do this work of contemplation.
I would like to end with this quote from Richard M. Gula: “By manipulating a disparity of power, cruelty sets up a relationship wherein the stronger becomes the victimizer of the weaker.” I would also like to thank the Birdwatcher in Central Park for his kindness and compassion. We could learn much from him.
In this hour, Loving God, you have touched us with love. Send me now to be your touch-of-love for another. May the love of Jesus flow through me, a current of healing and life. Amen.
~ From A Guide to Prayer For All God’s People.