Posts Tagged ‘Affirming’


I have been on a journey…quite a lifetime of a journey…on creating space for persons to belong. It is why some have read previous posts and have blatantly stated that I do not believe in inclusion, accessibility and/or affirming ministries.

WRONG!!!

I am a 21st century Canadian. I believe this is where we should be resonating and existing at as community already. Accessibility is a need, but is a physical transformation of space, that can be forgiven if there is a plan to move forward, or allowances and aids to help. Inclusion means that the circle has been drawn wide enough so that regardless of label there is a space for you, and affirming is the simple act that you deserve to exist with the same dignity, rights and privileges as everyone else, because, well you are a human being. The fact we allow ourselves to backslide back into these old debates is astoundingly annoying, hurtful and a waste of time.

Where the conversation, and behaviour needs to happen in community, but especially within the Christianities is within belonging. Belonging is messy, because the first three are the starting point so it is no longer the person’s label at play. We seek to understand how they experience the world, and what is needed for their full vocational fulfillment within our world.  It is the calling Brother Jesus laid on our hearts/souls/beings with his teachings out of the Shema (the great love commandments of God, Neighbour and Self) that he then reflected in the Parable of the Good Samaritan in answer to the legalist (read we will keep arguing inclusion, accessibility and affirming just because we are scared of change and sharing power) who asked him “who is my neighbour?”.

The risk of knowing neighbour, and of belonging as written of earlier is that we risk missing the person or being missed. BUT…there is more.

When one truly belongs. One takes ownership of the 5 W’s and H of the belonging. You will hear phrases of “This is my home” or “This is my community” or “My crew/group/residents/patients/clients/customers/students” or “my team” or “my church”. Why? Because they are resonating in belonging to something they were meant to be a part of. It is not about prestige, titles, or money (or anything else to feed ego). It is truly doing what one is meant to do. Being where one is meant to be.

Notice the words: being, be… B-E-L-O-N-G.

Take time in your life, what do you take ownership of authentically?

Why do you take that ownership?

What does this say about what your values are?

If the legalist came to you and asked, “who is my neighbour?” what is your story of ownership? Of Being? Of belonging?

 


A person is a person, because he recognizes others as persons.

-Desmond Tutu

The risk of belonging is that it is using the space now open to all through physical, linguistic, theological—inclusionary lens and accessible building…to move beyond simple existence. It is recognizing one another as persons, with intrinsic value, worth, goodness and blessedness.

This is a risk, because opening one self up then you cannot create an shouting match of hatred. There is no threat to you because of rules governing public space to allow all to exist, for they all are included. Now it is at the more personal level, to be able to engage one another as simply persons. This is the grand risk.

Why?

Simple.

No longer the other. But neighbour.

Once neighbour there is the risk of becoming friend. Then that runs the risk of becoming chosen family.

All three of these risks carry with it the greatest risk of all:

You or the neighbour will be missed (grieved) when you are no longer there.

Children are a wonderful gift. They have an extraordinary capacity to see into the heart of things and to expose sham and humbug for what they are.

-Desmond Tutu

This is why children are so wonderful in seeing beyond our worldly imposed bull shit. They see each other, and everyone already simply as they are.

And you know what happens when we take the risk of stepping outside our own boundaries? What happens when we acknowledge the included as persons? When we acknowledge them as neighbour? Perhaps become friends or chosen family?

We belong.

And it is in belonging…that is the greatest risk.

Are you ready for the greatest risk taken in your community? Home? Self?

Are you ready to open yourself up to belong?

For others to belong?

For with the risk of belonging comes a deeper risk.

The risk of being grieved.

Are you willing to open yourself up to the circle of life?

The circle of belonging?