Sunday, November 13, 2016

Trust the Process

I am now two months into my novitiate. The words I received over and over during a conversation last week were: Trust the process.

They seem quite fitting on many levels right now, if you hear what I'm saying. I mean, I was going to write about how I feel about this election by telling you what happened when I was running today. There was a dog, and usually dogs have electric collars here; the big roads are right at the edge of many yards. This dog started to chase me with no collar in sight. I darted as fast as I could, turned around and yelled, "Stop!" at this evil-looking dog, as if it would understand me. Fortunately I outran it. But, the metaphor might be a little too trite! And, I've told you the story anyway.

During a very good homily this morning we received other words over and over: The work continues. I so desperately want to outrun so many devastating stories of hatred that I am already hearing with torches of love and justice. I want to do that work.

But, I am currently living in a different space as a novice. For the first time since I graduated from college I do not have direct, daily contact with inner-city kids. That reality struck me as I realized how much I want to be in a classroom post-election, teaching kids what community looks like and how we form it with love.

Here is where the trust comes. Whatever is happening to me during this novitiate is teaching me exactly the skills I need to continue the work. The presence that I am learning through some quieter ministries, the stillness that brings me focus, the listening that gives me perspective - I need all these things if I want to do loving work.

I, too, have to trust this election process, as much as everything inside me resists it. I have to trust that it is calling us to greater, better work for those who suffer at the hands of hatred. I have to trust that the work of God continues and is bigger than any of this. I have to trust that love will always trump hate.

Let us walk in the holy presence.