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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Monday, September 9, 2013

Through the Grace of God, I am Not My Past


Our encounter with Divine Grace is transforming and to me personally is the sweet essence of the meaning of Christ in our lives. Yesterday, I officiated at a wedding where I had been asked to limit the religious content of the service. This thinking is not just a generational trend but is pervasive in much of society today. Studies show that vast numbers of people who do not attend any church still consider themselves to be spiritual, but have little or no understanding of what and how that is personalized in their lives. For a community of faith that proclaims Jesus Christ how do we bring relevance to the Divine and personalize the reality of Christ beyond the mystical?

I have a website I created last year upon my return to engagement in the church called www.themeaningplace.ca This site is about my personal journey of grace and an attempt to connect with those in society who needed grace in their lives. I could not have written the content of these pages 15 yrs ago when I was highly involved in the church as the Toronto Metropole President. The ensuing 15 yrs of being on the outside looking in at the church and living as if life was complete, considering myself spiritual still, was itself an illusion I never comprehended. I believe, for me and many others that when it comes to grace, we don't know what we don't know.

My experience was that upon visiting a Community of Christ church in the new town we had moved to, Hamilton, my soul was touched, not dramatically, but the Spirit was undeniably real and this launched me on a personal journey of embracing grace in ways I had never before encountered. I had often preached about grace, taught about grace but never knew the depths of grace in my life. Further, in my re-examination of the church I was awed at the transition in beliefs and the recognition of diversity, equality and spiritual practices that were emerging. As I read our Enduring Principles, the words inspired my understanding of the envisioned mission of our church. But still, deep in my soul beyond the words I read and the missional cause I could relate to, there remained an ache, a sorrowfulness, a yearning to be right with God.

Below, I am sharing some excerpts of what I wrote about grace on this website that perhaps you may find meaningful in your life.

"There are moments in all of our lives when we become overwhelmed by helplessness, hopelessness, woundedness, guilt, pain and sorrow. We are lost in the depths of despair and we intensely sense the aloneness of our soul. The cause of our grief, devastation and pain may emerge from so many possible actions, tragedies, senseless happenings, words, rejection, hate, failures and addictiveness.
Our lives become broken, distracted and depressed. We burrow into ourselves desperate for release from the anguish which we bear, unable to untangle the knots that crush our spirit.

At times, to those about us we are .....non-communicative, non-responsive, non-loving, non-giving, non-feeling. Our woundedness needs healing. Our guilt needs forgiveness, Our grief and sorrow needs to be held. Our despair needs hope. Our failures need new vision. The overwhelming needs release. Our aloneness needs genuine care. Our brokenness needs peace.

Where can we unburden ourselves from the heavy weight that holds us down. Where can we unload the deep pain within our heart and soul. Where do we begin to pick up the pieces of our brokenness. Where do we begin to open the door to our lives again. Where do we go for such healing, forgiveness, release and reconciling hope.

My website proposed that we at Community of Christ, but represented as "The Meaning Place", to lessen the religious connotations that so many perceive as negative; could empathetically walk with people in these moments...... I have had many many conversations, emails and visits with truly hurting people I have dialogued with, prayed with and provided some measure of hope to......

At the Meaning Place we are a people of grace. Truly, if not for the grace of God who knows what befalls each of us. We are humbled by grace that has touched our lives. Within our community, we sense that we are all wounded healers each in our own way, trying to be caring, to be sensitive to your needs and your pain. By God's grace we are there for you and with you, here and now.

There are unspeakable depths of life trauma that we bury within. No person, however well meaning, however gifted, however caring, can ever bring peace to the tortured soul needing release, forgiveness and new eyes to see beyond such pain of guilt or trauma. Only the grace of God reconciles us in those moments. Only the peace of His spirit can cleanse the darkness within. Only our prayer of surrender will heal our scars and make us whole. "Lord, help me to desire to desire to have you in my life." Utter those words from the depths of your soul and begin your journey of healing.

The amazing thing is that we, no matter who we are, are always, always, always worth that much to God, that His invitation is ever-present to come to him and become whole. In that moment true meaning envelops your life. You begin on the journey to wholeness. You begin to see life through new eyes. A transformation begins.

Then, you will recognize you have not been alone on your journey, for our community of wounded healers walks with you. Then, your woundedness resonates with others in need. We all become recipients of and are blessed by your giftedness as you are and as you will become.

The Meaning Place brings rich transformation within each of our lives. May the grace of God be with you even as it has touched our own lives with meaning.

My story is that my personal life has journeyed in grace which has transformed my life to where I have peace with my past. Through the grace of God I am not my past.

Submitted by Kerry

1 comment:

  1. excellent blog Kerry! it certainly strikes a chord with me and I would imagine a few others will feel it plucking at them as well!

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