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I’ve been noodling this question over since Ruth asked it several weeks ago.  What is my ministry?  The message that I carry with me out into the world?  I’m not sure why it has been so difficult for me to articulate but this is attempt #3.

If I had to put it on a t-shirt it would say “Let Them Be Who They Are.”

My favorite Bible verse is Psalm 100:3.  “Know Ye that the Lord is God,It is He that hath made us,And not we ourselves,We are His peopleand the sheep of his pasture.”

Then there is this from the Holy Quran.

“[35:27] Do you not realize that GOD sends down from the sky water, whereby we produce fruits of various colors? Even the mountains have different colors; the peaks are white, or red, or some other color. And the ravens are black.

“[35:28] Also, the people, the animals, and the livestock come in various colors. This is why the people who truly reverence GOD are those who are knowledgeable. GOD is Almighty, Forgiving.”

God loves us in our variety — our variety of cultures, our variety of languages, the various ways we approach him, and the various traits that we all possess.   Why?  Because that is the way that God made us, each and every one.

I spent summers in West Texas where my grandfather worked in the mercury mines.  When we were at the mines, I was very often related to every English speaker there.  Everyone else spoke Spanish.   The language flowed around me like the mountain air.  Sometimes they spoke to me, bending down to look me in the eye, speaking slowly before showing me whatever wonder they had found to share with Susita.

In college, I worked the campus pow wow.  The beat of the drum pulsed through the ground.  Tents, pulled from trunks and pick up beds, sprouted up around the drum circle.  I hauled supplies and ran errands until the women pulled me into the circle to join them in the women’s dance.

Thai spring festivals, wiccan weddings and more.  Maybe it was because of my childhood, often among people who spoke another language.  Maybe it is my Faith that God truly did make us all and we all carry a bit of that goodness within us.  Maybe it is just my insatiable curiosity that drives me to be around people who aren’t just like me.

But I truly believe that everyone has the right to be who they are.  To speak their language.  To love who they love.  To approach God down the path on which they have been placed.

Doing what I can do to see that they retain this right is my mission.  To you, it may look like I’m simply keeping the beat with a group of women as we circle the drum one more time before dinner.  On another day, you would only see me serving dinner to a couple who cannot legally marry in my state, but who have chosen to raise children together none-the-less.  But I am seeing them for who they are – children of God who loves us in our variety.



Have a Mary Little Christmas

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