Congregational Care & Health Ministry: Adult Education Spotlight
I was asked to spotlight what I addressed in the two recent sessions of our annual Christian Education series, entitled: Well-Being: “I AM a Living Being!”
Long ago a fugitive Moses found himself in the isolated desert tending sheep. However, an apparent burning bush overwhelmed his consciousness with the apprehension of Divine Being-Presence. It came with the breathy identification, “Yah-weh”- meaning “I AM the One who Is!” (Too simply translated just ”Lord” in English.)
(As Frederick Buechner put it: “In revealing a name, the Divine One hasn’t had a moment’s peace since!”)
Our first breaths lift us off into a lifelong trajectory from total dependency to hopefully individual Self-being. We are power-packed to “Become “ and to “Belong”.
Hopefully! If nourished and stimulated through all our needs and possibilities by other ‘living beings”, we can make our way through all the realities and mysteries of being alive to the ‘I AM’- “in whom we live and move and have our being.”
Not a simple recipe! For those we depend on are still “becoming” and “striving to belong” themselves! – subject and prone to all kinds of lacks, deviations, self-delusions, ego surges, falseness, superstitions, dogmatism, possessiveness- and more!
Also, the world around us seethes with injustice, impersonalness, false love, manipulation, power plays, addictions, endless distractions, crudity and cruelty. Etc!
And yet! Our Faith claims revealed truth for our lostness. Light for our darkness. Promise for our yearnings and hopes. Our redemptive hope lies in the dynamics of the “I AM.”
Dynamics? A dynamic is “An energy or force that brings change.” (As in physics, but not set laws.) Our Faith words are so much more than words, indications, attitudes, demands or “shoulds”- but are dynamics that are working, operating within and between us!- and the I AM!
This became more real in early dealing with myself, even more so with people as a pastor, and then constantly and dramatically so in working involvement with hurting, empty, struggling, chained-up, damaged, fearful, burdened and powerless people as a privileged psychotherapist.
In our two sessions I shared experiences of real folks, from their various forms of lostness and caughtness, through their ‘know the truth- it will set you free- even if at first it makes you miserable” processes.
The dynamics of the I AM are real! Starting with the key dynamic: “God is Love!” Then all of its manifestations: compassion, mercy, acceptance, sensitivity, kindness, empathy, loving action, seeking justice, bearing burdens, enduring, embracing, empowering, revering, sexual sharing, laughing, uplifting, recognizing, touching, integrity, firmness, humility, human warmth… and more!
My hopes? That we may have: Clearer vision of “who” lives behind black/white judgments, behaviors, and needfulness of other people; Gratitude for all that customized our “inner selves” in “becoming” who we are; Greater awareness of the “I AM” oriented dynamics in our own “being”; Deeper desire to live from our inner selves in our daily living and relationships.
P.S. Irenaeus, 200 AD: “The glory of God is a person fully alive!”
~Earl Laman, Hope Church member