I love being with people and look forward to social gatherings, but I often come home with a stone in my shoe. When I shake it out and it falls to the floor, I recognize that moment when something went wrong. I had little to contribute to a conversation and felt inadequate, or I said something I regretted. I detected a look of disapproval or a differing opinion made me rethink mine.
I pick up the stone, remind myself that God is with me and I’ll be all right, and toss it away. But a sliver of doubt remains. Am I good enough? Will they stop loving me?
I don’t even know this sliver’s buried itself in my soul until it begins to fester, making me sensitive to anything anyone says or does. Then I pull back, watch my words and try to be more acceptable. It’s so stinking hard, I want to run away and become a hermit.
But in community–the very place where I pick up stones and slivers–a moment comes when something goes right. Someone says or does something that finds that sliver and plucks it out.
Just last week, it happened again. I rub the tender spot where I was afflicted and look back on what transpired. I’m grateful for the Healer who came to me “in the mouth of friend and stranger.” But I’m disappointed to discover I still have insecurities. I wonder: if I sat longer in the silence, would God rid me of these stones and slivers?
Or perhaps it’s the silence that reveals how God does.
Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.
–St. Patrick’s Breastplate Prayer
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Friends of mine are hiking and biking to raise money and awareness for mental health.
Done in a Day is a charity hike that raises funds for mental health. On June 24, Patty and Dale Wagner will hike a section of the 24 km stretch of the Baden Powell Trail, from Cleveland Dam to Deep Cove on Vancouver’s north shore to support subsidized counselling for the clients of Burnaby Counselling Group.
Anne Duifhuis writes, “On June 25, 2017, thousands of cyclists will come together to celebrate and strengthen mental health for all Canadians while raising $1,500,000 for mental health programs and services–and I will be one of them! I rode the 60km route with the Vancouver Police Department team last year and will again. I invite you to join the movement and show your support with a donation or by joining me as a rider. Thank you!”