“I need your help,” I said to Fred who was barely awake. “I made a big mistake.”
I drew back the curtains to let in the light. “You know that highchair at the church that I thought was too old and not worth fixing. I got Rick to put it in the dumpster. I just reread the email from the manufacturer. If the armrest isn’t the correct length, they will replace it. Now I need to get the highchair out before the dumpster gets emptied.”
“I’ll go after breakfast,” my hero said.
While I offered spiritual direction, Fred retrieved the highchair. He checked it over. It was still intact and the part in question did not need replacing. I could clean it up and return it to the church where it was needed by a mom who helps out with our Community Meal.
How did all this happen? The details are not that interesting. In summary, I didn’t take into account the needs of the mom. I didn’t slow down and read the email properly. I made the decision alone. It wasn’t until after I disposed of the highchair that I learned how useful and valuable it was. A new one could have cost the church $300.
So I was quite relieved when I got the good news from Fred. All day long, I felt myself smile whenever I thought about it. Sure, I made a number of mistakes and learned a lot in the process. But I have been redeemed.
And that’s a wonderful feeling.
The Christian leader of the future is called to be completely irrelevant
and to stand in this world with nothing to offer but his or her own vulnerable self.
God loves us, not because of what we do or accomplish,
but because God has created and redeemed us in love.
∗ ∗ ∗
A Lenten Pause
During this season of Lent, I have invited you to join me in a daily practice of receiving our belovedness. In the story I shared today, I named a number of mistakes I made. When we make mistakes, it can be hard to believe God is still pleased with us. Beloved, yes. Pleased, maybe not. As you enter into prayer today, think about a recent mistake. Share that moment with God and see how our loving God responds. The story of the Transfiguration reminds us that we are God’s beloved and God is pleased with us. Ash Wednesday reminds us that we are dust and, to dust we shall return. We are both loved and limited.
By the way, there are still spaces left in Coming Home, the silent weekend retreat I am co-facilitating online on March 24-26. What does your heart say?