In our group of women studying Yancy’s book The Jesus I Never Knew we were discussing the chapter entitled ” Beatitudes: Lucky Are the Unlucky” There is a lot to discuss in that chapter so we did go on a rather long time.
One of the examples cited by Yancy in this chapter is the story of Henri Nouwen and Adam as a living out of the parable “Blessed are the merciful” Nouwen cares for the severely handicapped Adam, showing incredible mercy, something few of us felt we could accomplish in the same circumstances. I guess few of us will ever be called to that kind of ministry, yet, we have people God puts in our lives that we care for simply because we love them. We do this for our children and they can return very little to us that compensates us for our efforts. Still we love them and continue to care and provide for them simply because we love them. And God does this for us as well. He simply loves us because we are his creatures, not because we can ever repay him by our behaviour or intelligence. He shows us incredible mercy. This is kind of a circular truth – if we show mercy we will be shown mercy. God has already been merciful to us and that alone should compell us to be merciful in turn.
We also got off on a bit of a digression but it took us in an interesting direction. We shared how we felt that Nouwen must have had a sense of calling to serve in a place like Daybreak. That took us into the question of how to discern if a decision to do some type of service or work is a response to a “call” or simply doing a job. We could see where there are people who have definate calls and others who are simply doing a job. Not that those who are doing jobs with no particular sense of call are not doing the right thing. Just that not everyone is called by God in this way.
And then we shared our various concerns about our lives – especially as we face decisions regarding jobs and changes in that aspect of our lives. We had a good sharing time and it is good to know that we can pray and are praying for each other.