Yesterday at the Open Faith Discussion at Table Grace Café, it was another day filled with new faces, some familiar ones, and the Holy Presence of Divine Creator. We are currently between studies, and so each week is a surprise as to what direction it may go. Actually every week is a surprise whether we have a study guide or not. It always depends on who walks in the door and comes to the table to join in discussion. Often times I experience the Living Word of God flowing through the most unexpected places and people.
So one newcomer yesterday brought up the scripture Hebrews 6:1-3. Which uses the word “perfection” as what we are striving toward. As we read that, of course we chewed on the potential for perfection on this side of heaven, and what that word actually means in that scripture and context. Once I returned to my computer I looked up the scripture and original language meaning, and found, to my relief, that it indeed does not mean “without flaw”. Whew! The Hebrew word (tam or tamim) normally means complete or mature or healthy. Something or someone can be complete or mature yet not be “without flaw”.
We ended the hour with a short reading and meditation from the book “A year of Living with more Compassion” by Richard Fields. The opening quote from the book was “ If I let you get to know me I might reveal things about me that you don’t like and then I’ll feel shame and I will be with somebody who doesn’t really like me but must be nice to me”. That is a quote from many of the clients that he sees in his practice. I would venture to stretch that to include most humans on this side of heaven. This week as you find yourself wallowing in your own cavern of whatever you carry in your life as your pain or shame, return to these words, and let yourself truly feel the loving presence of God’s grace that is for you.
Quotes for meditation from the book mentioned above:
May I be compassionate and understanding of things about myself I don’t like.
May I be compassionate and understanding of things in other people I don’t like.
May I develop wisdom and compassion for the hard things, not just the easy things.