Growing up, every single Sunday we did the same public confession in worship. Part of it was, "We have not loved you with our whole heart. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves." I have been thinking about this all week--both what it means to not love with our whole heart (fairly easy to think of examples). But, maybe more perplexing--what it means to do it. What does it look like when we love with our whole heart? Over the course of the last year, when have we loved with our whole heart? What does that look like? Where are we being called (or perhaps, like Jesus in Sunday's Gospel from Mark, being kicked/thrown into)? Where are the places where we might love with our whole heart within and around Humble Walk? As we communally discern where the Holy Spirit is moving us in the coming season, these are some of our guiding questions.
I asked those who gathered for worship to brainstorm ways in which they have experienced or shown whole-hearted living.
Here is what they said and drew:
Buying coffee for strangers and friends Forgiving Taking care of yourself Sending kids and self to bed on time Outside comfort zone for sake of others Not using people's past against them Recycling Listening to someone you disagree with To honestly see the world Love despite the bad Love enemies even when you don't mean it Loving without regard for boundaries Loving others regardless the little annoying things they do Loving another even when it's not convenient An image of a big heart with these words inside: empathy, being brave, stranger, serving, forgiveness, being uncomfortable, enemy, respect, God's work, our hands. Forgiving readily Accepting "Other" focused Believing without proof Giving people the benefit of the doubt Giving of yourself and what you have to offer Giving without expectation of something in return Sacrifice for another to exhaustion Focused, attention on one thing or one person Joyful, not matter the situation Loving their flaws To get married Friends and forgiveness (70 x 7 style) Parents loving kids/grandparents Love within a family Coffee (encased in a heart)
I would add that our lenten season of secretninjas is an example. Those secretninja's where flung far and wide--along with all sorts of joy and love. Our bar events are whole-hearted living. Many times, the room is filled with new faces. Someone in worship commented that when he looks through the fb list of people who are attending, not only does he not recognize those who are coming--but he doesn't even know the people who invited them. A third example is when we are in the park in the summer time--particularly during the meals of Wild Week. I look around at a playground area filled with people sharing a meal who might not ever otherwise come together. Thereby the grace of God. These three areas (secretninja's, bar, park) began with "What if we tried..." and have completely taken on their own life--well beyond anything that we can control or manufacture. This is whole-hearted living.