It’s Day 5 at the new house and the new community. I’m loving it, although I’m still getting used to living with a lot of people and still trying to learn what the prayer & service schedule is.
At prayers and then dinner last night, the Lord put this on my heart for this season of my life: learn to receive as much as you give. The text at prayers covered Jesus feeding the 4000. I’ve always focused on the giving aspect, the part where someone had a certain number of loaves and fishes, the part where the Lord gave the food back to the disciples and asked them to distribute it, the part where they collected the remains which were more than the original food. But there’s also the aspect of receiving the food from the Father. In order to give, they had to receive something. What they gave wasn’t of themselves. It wasn’t something they created. It wasn’t even something they improved upon. Aaron shared that the beauty of this story is that it’s a picture of the eucharistic ritual. It’s a picture of receiving food from the Father. And, that being the basis of the gospel.
Later on, during dinner, I realized that the fact that I was trying to be green and rode with someone to dinner meant that I was stuck at the dinner without a means to get home besides walking. Everyone else walks, but with the chronic fatigue and all the pain, it’s not worth the cost to try to walk even the blocks between the houses and the chapel. On my own, I was just stuck. There didn’t seem to be any way out of this problem. But God provided a way, a sweet solution, that showed me a little bit more about receiving His blessing.
Grace encouraged me to find someone who had a car and to ask them to drive me to my house, drop me off, and drive back. It took me a while. But I finally asked Phillip. I barely know Phillip, but I was desperate, so I just asked him if he had a car and if he could give me a ride. He said yes to both and then gave me a ride the nine blocks. It gave me a little bit of time to explain CFS and my plans (or lack thereof) for this season of my life. I’m not sure what I expected his response to be, but it really surprised me. He said, I’m so glad that you’ve moved here and were able to part of this community more deeply. Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to make things a little bit easier or to be more supportive. We’re all here for you, and never be afraid to ask.
It was such a humbling experience for me. I realized that so much of my life has been focused on giving and giving back. Helping other people feeds my soul, and my concept of being part of a community has always been about what I can put into the communal pot (so to speak.) But I’m realizing that my time here may be a lot more about receiving than giving. Not that I won’t give at all, but that I shouldn’t be anxious that I didn’t help out enough in the kitchen today. Or that all I did was go to prayers and go back to sleep. Because that’s enough. And maybe that all God wants from me right now.
Learning to receive,