Good morning everyone,
In the last few weeks, we have been talking about wisdom at the church. I believe God is continually offering us wisdom, ways of understanding and living in the world around us in line with God’s purposes. Yesterday I was attending a conference and I received what sounded like wisdom to me.
It came from our Bishop Laurie Haller. That alone made me sit up and listen. She is a woman of great courage and faith. One way to assess whether wisdom is really wisdom is to consider the source. I have often seen Bishop Laurie speak the truth that needed to be told.
So here’s what she said. I wrote it down because I wanted to think about it and pray about it.
“Everyone should be able to name who they are and not be challenged.”
Everyone. The little girl with glasses. My barista. Brett. The elderly woman descending into memory loss. Each of our confirmation students. The person inside the Cubby Bear get-up last night. The teen who struggles with depression. [your name goes here] Everyone.
Wisdom, or suspected wisdom, requires testing. We take it into the laboratory of our lives and see if the hypothesis is true. For the rest of the day, I found myself looking at people and thinking: “You, you get to name who you are and not be challenged.” The young woman who took my fee as I left the parking ramp. The wife I visited in the hospital waiting room. The woman I spoke to on the phone who was grieving the death of her mother.
As I tested this wisdom, I wondered about how often I deny people their identity by my words or actions.
I wondered about my own identity. Am I comfortable just being me or do I live by the expectations of others?
Wisdom is like that. It is not a pithy recipe or an easy solution. It is not as simple as change your oil every 5,000 miles or always check the expiration date when buying milk. Wisdom opens up questions, gets in our way as we go about our day, and gives life more depth and meaning. Ultimately, it changes us.
Bishop Laurie said, “Everyone should be able to name who they are and not be challenged.” She said it twice. I wrote it down. I have tested it and I can feel its strength and grace. It is an expression of peace. It suits what I know of God.
Now I am wondering if I can write it on my heart and live it in my life.
Cindy Hickman, Pastor, West Des Moines United Methodist Church
720 Grand Avenue
West Des Moines, Iowa 50265
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This week at wdmumc:
This weekend is Hunger Weekend here at wdmumc and you have two opportunities to fight hunger. On Saturday we will be filling Meals from the Heartland. On Sunday we will be walking in the Hunger Hike. You can sign up on our website. We stand against hunger.
And this Sunday nine new people will be joining the church and our third graders will receive their bibles. Lots to celebrate!