“…Create the quiet restful place where people can find healing.” So wrote a priest and professor to one of his former seminary students. The student had been keen to capitalize on the various educational, social, and theological opportunities presented to him in school and was now embarking upon parish ministry. But the priest pointed to a deeper sort of formation that could bring about a deeper sort of transformation in the lives of those committed to his care.
This quote has been meandering around in my head for almost a month. I’ve shared it with our staff, friends, the people I meet for coffee. And, I can’t let it go because it rings true.
Restoration and healing are key to our culture at All Saints East Dallas. As Jesus continues to draw people to himself in East Dallas, he wants these dear ones to find restoration and healing in our midst. He wants us to receive it on a regular basis. And he wants us to be the conduits, the sacred, spacious places in which he offers his healing.
But how? How will we create the “quiet restful place where people can find healing?” Above I shared only part of the quote. To answer how?, notice what the priest tells his former student:
“In order to live a hospitable life…you need a lot of time for yourself to read, to write, to study, to meditate, to pray, to just be alone. If you do not claim that for yourself, you are not hospitable enough because you do not create the quiet restful place where people can find healing.”
We have to make space for God in our own lives. We must first welcome him in order to welcome others. This can be in study, prayer, soaking in creation, or simply sitting in silence. The point is, though, that even though we know he’s always with us, we must be present to him.
Take time today, tomorrow, or the next day to be with God. Do it while you walk or drive or rake the leaves or do the dishes. Or, sit quietly, listen, wait on him and see what happens. But do it knowing that not only is he communing with you, shedding his love abroad in your heart by the Holy Spirit. He’s also creating in you the inner disposition and peace to be a quiet restful place where people can find healing.
May it be so in all of us.