Dear Friends,

I hear stories. I hear stories from my spouse and children, from the cashier at the cafe, from folks on the street, and I especially am blessed by the stories from you, the Body of Christ at St. Andrew's. This week in particular has been so full that the cup of my heart is flowing over.

It will surprise no one, I am sure, for me to say that we are living very full lives. The daily stream of radiant joys and heartrending brokenness is astounding, as is our capacity to have this flow of life running through our bodies and spirits day after day.

It seems to me this week that the telling of the stories is how we actually gauge and participate in the flow passing through us. I spoke to someone who last week was on a jet-ski in the ocean off Virginia. This spot he was in had just a long straight shore. And he said that though he was zooming along tremendously fast, it didn't really seem like much. His heart was quickened much more by a different ride among sandbars and islands. It was in pushing against the water, testing it out, that it came alive to him.

Just so perhaps with the re-telling of our daily lives. To say out loud that yesterday we were scared. To write to a friend the words, "I need help." To say "Love you!" or even "I love you." to a friend. Or to regale with the story of a small triumph over that part of life that always challenges us. Mmm! Then our hearts are quickened as we press against the rush of life. Then we are witnessed by a neighbor as participants in life, and they are drawn in by us.

This week the blessing of life vitally lived has overwhelmed me. And having tried to share the beauty I feel, I will only add one learning, and one story which is appropriate to pass on.

A learning: That some voices (loud ones in some of our lives) have told us not to share those things that move us most deeply and vulnerably, and we have believed them and kept silent. I am reminded this week that the Kingdom of God is not built on silenced stories, but on the sharing of our selves. Christ shared everything. Gave over his authority, his mission, his knowledge of the Father, and his own life even. Where it is made safe to do so, the telling of our deepest joys and hurts is holy. Let no one tell us otherwise.

A story: A parishioner requested a service of someone in town here in Hopkinton. Afterwards the person would take no payment, but said, "If you really wish to give something, go and make a donation to Making Your Mark art camp. It's a great thing." They did not even know that this person was a member here! But that is how love moves through the world. So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,and succeed in the thing for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11) Love passes out from God and those doing God's will, and then returns to it's source in gratitude.

The telling of ourselves is not just cathartic or helpful, but is the flow of God's Love in Creation. And I am filled with gratitude for all I have known of it. What story has quickened your heart today?

In Love,

Reed