We are impoverished. I mean by this what Johannes Baptist Metz means in his luminous book, Poverty of the Spirit, when he writes, “We are all beggars. We are all members of a species that is not sufficient unto itself. We are all creatures plagued by unending doubts and restless, unsatisfied hearts. Of all creatures, we are the poorest and the most incomplete. Our needs are always beyond our capacities, and we only find ourselves when we lose ourselves.”
We find ourselves as we resign ourselves to God and into the care of others. There are simply things we cannot do for ourselves. It is a sign of our poverty that others must act for us and on behalf of us. This poverty is not something of which to be ashamed but it is merely an acknowledgement of our interdependence. When you are selfless, acting on behalf of others, you find yourself. This is something of what Jesus must have meant when he taught, “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life because of me will find it.” Yes, we are impoverished and need others—and others need us. In selfless, devotional acts, we redeem our lives and the world. Our interdependence is a remarkable spiritual truth… and a remarkable, redemptive opportunity.
Our church is at a crossroads as we submit who we are and ourselves and all that we do into the care of others who do not know us nor share our view of the world. That is okay. That is, as noted above, the condition of humanity. I pray that we will be given a fair hearing, a just consideration, and that people of humane spirit will link with us in a brilliant, humane and humanist effort to heal the world around us. Whatever decisions get made, however our journey is travelled, our destiny remains unchanged: we live in this world by God’s grace and we are trekking always and ever toward the Kingdom of light and peace. May God bless those leaders and decision-makers who have some sway over our immediate circumstances. May the mission and mandate, as Metz describes being a human, be met in us so that “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable” would find us ready. Amen. So be it.