Change of Heart
When I lived in Roswell, my church created Lenten meditation booklets in which parishioners were given Bible verses and asked to write short reflections about them. Then all of the reflections were compiled into a booklet and given to the congregation as a way of having daily prayer/meditation during the season of Lent that was made by us.
I first participated as a high school student, and I loved it. In total, I was asked to write twice, and I still remember which verses I was given. I also remember looking forward to reading the booklet each morning because I loved learning more about people I saw every week but didn't really know...not in the way of their thoughts, knowledge, or experiences. I was even surprised by my own parents' reflections. Like, wow. I didn't know this happened or that they thought this way.
It was a really cool experience.
Long story short, I decided to bring this project to Rhode Island, which meant I was put in charge of it. I'm not complaining; I'm totally excited to see this come to fruition, but I'm still in the stage of getting people to participate. There was a handful of folks--thankfully--who were quick to volunteer and seem as excited as I am about it. Others...require some convincing. Because, of course, they have fear.
I'm not a writer.
I'm not spiritual enough.
I'm not a Biblical scholar.
I'm not good at this sort of thing.
That, I think, is the point, and why this project is so rewarding: there is a treasure trove of thoughts inside people that they don't even realize are there, that will resonate with others, or can provide valuable insight and perspective. And the beauty is we are not in charge of what comes out. That's the point of spending time with the Word, offering a quiet time of prayer. The Lord speaks to us and through us when give Him the opportunity, and He does the most work when we feel like we can't do it at all.
So, having the starting place of "I don't know what to say," or "this is not my thing," is actually ideal. Because then you're open to listening.
ANYWAY, the point is that I spent this morning trying to lure people into participating. My joy is that some people are really enthusiastic and volunteered and I didn't have to chase them down. But my other joy is that someone who had said NO WAY to me last week, who I think has an amazing story to share, came around today and agreed to participate.
I AM SO HAPPY!
Here's to hoping the project will be a success! And not in terms of "look what I accomplished," but in terms of "Look at how much this experience has allowed everyone to grow." I am hopeful and expectant.
(Cover photo credit to my friend, Tom Guinn)