In 1985 I began attending a prayer group in my church, which met from 5:30 -6:30 AM Monday through Friday. I attended two or three times a week. There is something that happens to a person who purposefully plans their day around prayer. We would gather for ten minutes of devotion, then scatter around the sanctuary and pray together, yet in solitude.
Although it was late spring, the sanctuary was often cold. Not a wintery cold but a spring cold that is transformed in moments by the warmth of the sun’s rays. I would say my prayers and meditate on a passage of scripture then wait in silence. I had a burning desire to hear that still small voice spoken of by Jeremiah, Isaiah and Samuel. I went faithfully expecting to hear for Months, then one day it happened! I heard, ‘the voice’, “Donna I have called you and will equip you for the work of the ministry.”
I took this as my answer and so began my long journey in discovering my vocation and my call, There were times I thought, “O this must be the ministry God meant for me ” as I served as an R.E. Director, Evangelist/Psalmist, Chaplain, Pastor or my Graphic Design and DJ/KJ Businesses or my passion for community outreach for disabled people and LGBT Youth. But then there were times I was sidelined even stuck believing my purpose had come to an end. Yet again and again these perceived pit falls turned out to be pit stops; places I grew deeper in faith and understanding of my place in this world.
Today, I can see that this equipping has born in me a deep sense of love and justice modeled by Christ Jesus and the Gospel message. The Gospel message: of God sending the Son and the Son living among us a life of radically inclusive, unconditional love and oneness with God and others. He loved boldly, authentically and in peace, in the midst of suspicion, judgment, rejection, exclusion, torture and death. Only to rise again still… radically inclusive… loving unconditionally and calling people to join Him in proclaiming this Good News that all are loved, beloved forgiven and chosen children of God!
Now the question becomes one of believing this to be true or not. The faith I have is a verb not a noun. It is not based on a set of beliefs or a specific religious denomination but on the Love of God out of which I live and move and have my being. If I believe I am loved by God who loves me despite myself then how dare I not love others in the same way God love me.
My heart aches when I see how people who call themselves Christians treat others with suspicion and as outside God Love unless…. Jesus’ invitation is a conversion towards love and justice no matter who you are are where you are on life’s Journey. Conversion is NOT a ticket to heaven or a Get Out of Hell pass. What are your thoughts?
Donna Spencer Collins Child of Love Child of Blessing