By Clare Krabill, MHS COO
When I rise up
Let me rise up joyful
Like a bird
When I fall
Let me fall without regret
Like a leaf
I was struck by the purity and simplicity of these words penned by Wendell Berry as I uttered them in a silent prayer. We are living in times of great complexity, stress, suffering and strife. In the midst of the global pandemic, increased awareness of violence against people of color, particularly Black people, and growing political division, his words sooth a longing in my soul.
It would be an act of extreme denial to say the times we are in do not affect our work, our sense of vocation, and the culture of our organizations. As Christians we are called to be peacemakers and to seek unity rather than division. As workers in healing ministries you yourselves are the tender hands of Christ ministering to those in your care. Why then, can relating to others be so hard sometimes? Why can it be so difficult to demonstrate the same loving kindness to those who look different, talk differently, worship differently, and have different political viewpoints? Yet, I confess, sometimes it is hard to treat all people equitably. My own periodic knee jerk response to judge others looms as a barrier.
Colossians 3:11 exhorts us, “It doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.”
Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us. These are profound words, the kind that have the power, when adopted as an ongoing prayer, to foster peace and loving kindness in us and around us. May these words weave themselves into your hearts, souls and minds as you apply yourself to your daily work. With them, when you rise up, may you rise up joyful like a bird! When you fall, may you fall without regret like a leaf.