Working class spirituality
“I think you have to put a little sweat equity into what you believe. You have to practice what you preach. Justice does not just happen. Compassion is not a spectator sport, but something I have to exercise as I roll up my sleeves to do my part in creating a better community. I need to put in my hours as a volunteer. I have to join the prayer crew and put my life on the line to make a difference. The world will not change by wishes, but by the labor of love we call faith. Spirituality is not a spa but a construction site where we build hope one heart at a time.” Bishop Steven Charleston, Daily Facebook post
Oh goodness! I love to sit and meditate and walk and write and read and sit in silence and go to weekly Eucharist. Bishop Charleston reminds us that being a Christian is not a spectator sport. Eventually all of our spiritual practices connecting us to God will be calling us to some action, reaching out of ourselves in some way. Even when we are homebound we can call or write or cook or knit or invite others in.
My experience is that we do not have to go out of our way to realize what we are called to do. It will present itself to us daily. A person will come to guide us or suggest something. Someone in need will appear. Suddenly we will see a situation that was always there that calls us to reach out. Often the problem is that there are so many needs that we now become aware of around us that we become overwhelmed. Buechner gives us a good formula to find our next step. We are called to the place where the world’s deep hunger and our deep gladness meet. We look for where our passion is, where we are energized by the ministry.
We will soon learn that we are not called to the ministry our parents or our friends or the world thinks we should do. We are called to the ministry that is our passion, that we would do for no compensation, where we begin to do things we never thought we were capable of doing, when we gain energy as we work in this ministry instead of losing energy.
When we find this calling, we start becoming the person God created us to be.