We often see people in need in our world, in our communities and have no idea how to respond. We are made in the image and likeness of God and so we feel compassion and long for things to be different, to be healed, to be reconciled. But what can we do? For faith without actions is dead!
The first thing God calls us to do is love God's people as an echo of God's love. To offer love means to be willing also to receive love. Neither is love all fluffy and safe. It can be hard. It can hurt. It can be exhausting and it can be uplifting. We are called to Love. (Which doesn't mean spewing all our emotional baggage over others.) Being called to love means being called to listen; listen to the story of those we are sent to serve. Listen to their reality; feel where it connects and doesn’t connect with our own. In listening to another's story we bind it to our own, and to God's story. In listening we are invited to deepen our love and understanding for, and with, another. Then our responses have more meaning.
So if we listen to the stories of our local community - even to those stories we hear through the media - we know that housing is a huge need in the Wellington area at this time. And it is not going to get easier. How might we as a Cathedral community respond to that need? Could we pool our resources and purchase affordable housing for rental? Could we join with other parishes which are already doing that? As we look at developing our Cathedral site how might it be used for temporary or permanent housing for those who struggle? When we think of the environment that the Cathedral is located in, are we aware of the large number of minimum wage earners who service the local buildings and pass our Cathedral each week day morning? How might we offer them sustenance or hospitality? How might we bind their story to our own? - for our salvation is linked to theirs.
This Lent I encourage you to take the time to learn one person in need's story; and then think about how you could respond in a meaningful way. How might you also challenge us as a community to respond? You could even ask our young people - they are already to come up with an idea.
The Rev. Tric Malcom