What Does a Gospel Reconciler Do?
— Christine Sine —
Many of you have already heard that our beautiful building, at the site of the Mustard Seed Village on Camano Island, has been violated by vandals. All the windows and doors have been smashed to smithereens. We are devastated. We have had vandalism before but usually nuisance interference. This is the first time it has been malicious and deliberately destructive.
Compared to the earthquake devastation in Nepal where some of my friends are now working, and to the tornado destruction in Van, Texas where I once lived, this seems minor. However, as you can imagine we are devastated and angry, initially wanting to lash out and demand retribution. Yet as we prayed we realized that this is not God’s path for us.
Our current emphasis as an organization is reconciliation and as the chair of our Board J.Paul Fridenmaker asked, the important questions for us are: What does a gospel reconciler do? and How do we approach reconciliation when the abusers are unseen?
Our model for this year’s Celtic retreat August 7-9th is St Columba of Iona, known as a great diplomat and reconciler. One of his beautiful prayers that has endured through the centuries begins:
Sometimes in a lowly cell, in the presence of my God, I stand and listen.
In the silence of my heart I can hear his will,
It reminds me that the place we too need to begin is with silence and listening, seeking to discern what God is saying to us in the midst of our heartache. (read the entire prayer)
One of my Facebook friends posted a quote last week from Loa Tzu: “New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings…” It really caught my attention as I began my own process of discernment. I am sensing that we need to be open to the painful miracle of a new beginning.
The rest of the MSA team and Board have also begun the discernment process. Team member Forrest Inslee reflects:
I am convinced that, instead of the physical building being the first step, we need to establish the presence of people on the land. We need to plant the seeds of community. I think that this is an exciting and very achievable prospect (Read his entire reflection here)
As part of the Mustard Seed community, we invite you to discern with us. Please take time to sit in silence and listen to God with us. Ask yourself:
- What does a gospel reconciler do in a situation like this? and
- How do we establish the presence of people on the land and plant seeds of community?
Then send us an email with your thoughts and ideas! We look forward to hearing from you as we discern and move forward together.
Thank you for your prayers and support at this time.