There is something I want to share with you all, though I don't know quite how to voice it, I will try.
I have had this burning desire to share simple living with others for years now - simple living that is based on my Christian faith, for me that is Franciscan simplicity. I have a Facebook page that I share with my friend Ellen in San Diego. It's called The Simply Living Challenge. I will put a link at the bottom for anyone who might be curious. From this FB page is growing all sorts of exciting things like workshops - the Salvation Army invited me to talk to their women's group, perhaps a manual/ book - because it seems to be writing itself (oh joy), an email note, a retreat and more.
What I want to explain to you, as my Christian friends, is the way that God is doing a work in me as I share my experience of simplifying my life with others. Radical, life changing things are happening. God is showing me that to truly be a light for others I have to be transformed - and he has planted a longing in me for that.
Our little Anglican church has it doors left open during the day, so a few weeks back I went in there and begged God to reveal himself to me.I offered my life to him - my work - my everything. But you know when you do this you don't really think much will happen. You want it to but your rational brain tells you that you can't expect too much. I think sometimes we don't realise that he is doing the very thing we have asked because it doesn't come packaged the way we expect.
I am trying to think of an example to share with you of how he is revealing himself to me. Take this morning. I'm writing this on Sunday. I am in training as a LLM (Licenced Lay Minister). At this stage all I can do is sit prayerfully in the sanctuary, though I can sing with the congregation and join in with the liturgy. I can't begin to tell you the peace I feel up there. Our priest is one of my closest friends and she and I have agreed that there is no hurry for me to do anything other than sit until I feel God urge me on to the next stage. So I am still and the process is slow. Just like simple living should be. Then I notice that when I sing beside her our voices sound especially lovely together (and she has noticed this too). I don't think I am a good singer but I love to sing. The singing is moving me and drawing me closer to God. It has dawned on me today that maybe the reason I rarely play music is because it hurts. I want to sing. I want to play an instrument, but I think I can't.
My priest friend lent me a CD this week. The music and words of the chants are the voice of God to me - and now I am playing the piano again (though it is basic - as I had to stop learning at the age of 12) and I am dancing again (as though no one is watching) and I am allowing myself to sing and to play CDs in the house.... surely God is revealing himself to me through the way he has wired me. Do you know the words of Saint Iranaeus - 'The glory of God is man fully alive'?
This month on The Simply Living Challenge I am challenging myself, Ellen and the others in our community to Simplify their Soul. Allowing God to reveal to us himself in our desires, our passions, our gifts seems to be the first step. Do you want to join us? To ask God to reveal himself to you and watch what turns up? Yes you are a writer - but what is behind that? How has God wired you and what does he want you to share? And what is it you have forgotten about yourself? Ellen wrote these words in the comment section of my personal blog - 'We forget to be whole sometimes'. (http://astalander.blogspot.com.au/2012/03/wake-up-put-on-your-strength.html?showComment=1330847641688#c3127562697635598784)
Could this be said of you? It is certainly true of me. Those words resonated deeply within me and made me cry.