Dear PCUM family,
The weather turned a bit warmer today; walking the dog before heading to church, I could feel the sun on my neck for the first time in a while. There is reason for hope. In the midst of all that has happened and all this is still happening, it's safe, I think, to believe a thaw might be coming.
But we have to allow it to come. Like many of you, I've had to learn again recently the tough but welcome lesson that what defines you as a person is not what or how well (or poorly) you do. The people who choose to love you have their reasons. The trick is to trust their choice more than your fears. Here's how the late Peter Gomes—preacher, theologian, professor at Harvard Divinity School, and the first Black head minister of Harvard's Memorial Church—described how we get started allowing the light from God to spread.
"Knowing the risk of giving, now try the even greater risk of receiving. Learn to be a generous receiver. Somebody wants to love you; think of that. Let down the barriers, open the doors, remove the inhibitions, let him in. Somebody less worthy of you wants you to accept him or her. Try it. Open your hand to receive what someone else is prepared to give to you.
The old spiritual [ancestors] used to say that we get so little from God because we are prepared to accept so little from God. Open your hands that you may be prepared to receive what is there for you. Open your hands, and open your hearts to the abundance that is waiting to fill them both."
Peter J. Gomes, Strength for the Journey: Biblical Wisdom for Daily Living
In Christ's peace,