In Luke 6:38, Jesus assures us that if we give, what we give will be returned to us – and not just in a piddling amount, but a good measure that even overflows into our laps. Like many of Jesus’ teachings, this is both a promise and a caution. If we are generous with our compassion, encouragement, and mercy to others, we will be treated with such grace. Even in the midst of our trials, we can continually experience the give and take of grace.
However, the caution comes in when we give in to the temptation to terrorize,belittle and control one another. That tumultuous environment then becomes the only home we know. In the place of abundant love, there is only room win or lose, for predator and prey, a desperate “winner take all.” But take all of what? What is left?
In his book, The Force of Character, James Hillman writes of “the constant adjustments” that we always need to make so that our soul and our bodies work together. This he contends is how we cultivate wisdom, by staying aligned with our soul. I would also add that such attention is how we cultivate wholeness, or shalom.
Being part of a faith community helps us to stay the course that God has laid for each of us. God seldom asks us to travel alone, but rather gives us the gift of one another. If we treat one another with care, we all can find the way for all our souls to thrive, even in these turbulent times.
Rev. Sue Ann