Spirituality is recognizing and celebrating that we are all inextricably connected to each other by a power greater than all of us, and that our connection to that power and to one another is grounded in love and compassion.
Braving The Wilderness, p. 45
One day recently someone asked me to meet them for coffee to talk about how they didn’t think they could keep going to their church (not ours, another large church in the area) because the church was in the middle of a building campaign and they were unable to give at the percentage that the church was asking each of their members to consider. It turns out this person had lost his job when his company went belly up and he was too embarrassed to share that information.
His deacon had come to visit as part of the churchwide building campaign. My friend assumed that the deacon was accusing him of being unfaithful; it didn’t occur to him that deacons were visiting all the members of the church. I do not know this church well and acknowledged that I did not understand what the situation was from the deacon’s perspective. But I encouraged my friend to ask himself this question: do you think you go to a good church? Yes, unequivocably yes, was his reply. Then why assume that they would judge you? Why not at least go to someone and tell them the truth of your situation. See what happens. You can always leave, I pointed out, but try not to disappear without clarity.
He did what I suggested; within four days he had a new job (that he loves) working for one of the members of his church. His pastor suggested that he suspend all tithes and offerings for the rest of the year until the family could get back on more solid footing and suggested other ways he could contribute to the building campaign that did not involve financial promises he may not be in a position to honor. That’s a good church.
This church gave evidence of being grounded in love and compassion in real time. I predict that this gentleman, by nature generous, will become in years to come even more generous in his support of his church and maybe especially for those who lose their jobs. He beams when he speaks of his church and instead of disappearing, he is more involved than ever before. All win.
How can we start thinking more about the “all win” love perspective? If we can do that, we won’t need to obsess about succeeding; we will be too busy successfully living.