In the last two weekends, I was privileged to be in Marble community at times of discovery and surprise and joy and remembrance: One was the Couples retreat that my husband and I led and the other was the Ron Farr “Creating Deep Community” retreat at the church. I am also deeply aware that last Sunday’s service centered on All Saints Day in general, but in particular remembered some vital Marble souls who have recently passed on.
Discovery and surprise and joy and remembrance: All these events centered on the gifts we are to each other… in relationships, in the larger church community, in the world. Discovering and articulating those gifts, as you know, is our theme this year. I think of it as a theme that is about meeting: Meeting each other in new and revealing ways; meeting ourselves in ways both celebratory and challenging.
Martin Buber wrote: “All real life is meeting.” A faintly mysterious phrase that I take to mean a deep type of meeting: the kind of meeting that looks us in the eye, celebrates, speaks what is real, truly shares what is going on. A meeting that is true to life and not about surface exchange.
Inquiry into our gifts—and into each others’—is a powerful form of meeting. It means getting a bigger context for something you love to do. It means helping someone else see ways God may be nudging them to grow. It means stepping into the joy, the sense of aliveness that comes when we find, or confirm, a way to serve that fits us.
Gifts exploration. It is both confirming and revealing. As Annie Dillard wrote in Pilgrim at Tinker Creek:
“I had been my whole life a bell, and never knew it until at that moment I was lifted and struck.”
Join us this Sunday as we begin this journey. And join us on the Marble website each week after that, as we continue to explore the gifts in everyone.