Support the Café

Search our Site

Transformation through our Stories

Transformation through our Stories

“When,” I ask students in a class on writing a spiritual autobiography, “were you named by an experience or a person?  I mean authentically named.  Where you knew that you were being called into who you most deeply are.”  After a little reflection, almost everyone can come up with a memory.  I imagine that you can, too.

A lot of these memories are about moments with other people: a grandparent who recognizes our essential nature, a teacher who encourages our talent, a friend who touches our heart with a profound observation.  Sometimes we are named in the midst of action.  Holding the hand of a grieving classmate we wake up to the fact that this profound listening is what we are called to.  Looking at a plant under a microscope we all at once realize we want to spend our lives studying living things.

Sometimes, too, we are the ones to name another.  We have the profound honor of attesting to their truest nature.  When we speak in these moments, the other person might really sit up and take notice.  An energy runs through them as they recognize that they are hearing something very important.  Our words allow God to stir their souls.

And there are also times when we witness God’s conversation with another person.  We don’t speak at all, we just watch.  For me this happens most often when I am accompanying someone in spiritual direction.  My directee might ask a question, and I might have the good sense to be still and wait.  Then God has the opportunity to move in in one of God’s innumerable ways and light an understanding in their heart.

In all these situations, awe is often a component of the experience.  Our hearts are opened up, our minds are silenced, and we perceive a reality beyond the ordinary.

In today’s lessons from Second Kings and the Gospel of Mark, this awe of encounter between God and humanity is found in two of the most wonderful stories from our tradition.  In the first Elijah ascends to God in the chariot of fire and Elisha watches.  In the second Jesus is transfigured on the mountain top and the disciples hear, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.”  These encounters are electric, and the stories about them transform us.

In part they transform us because these stories are our stories, too.  God created us at the foundation of the world to be unique, unreplicable selves.  In the awe-full relationship with God, as we live into who we most truly are, we are most alive, most fulfilled, most happy.  Let’s remember our personal stories, live into who they show us to be, and share them with the people most important to us.  In this way we will transform the world.



Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

Support the Café
Past Posts

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café