- Identify where you need harvesters - I became very aware of this over the summer when I felt I was drowning under a workload too that I could not cope with. We asked ourselves the question what do we want to accomplish in the next year and who do we need to help us accomplish it? Jesus rarely worked alone. He was constantly together with his disciples - his harvesters in a field of plenty
- Be specific when you ask for help - once we had asked ourselves who we needed we developed job descriptions for internship positions and even established a new staff position for a garden manager.
- Get the word out - getting the word out about our needs is always challenging but I suggest starting with friends, community members, and neighbours. Those that are closest to us will usually respond the fastest and the most enthusiastically.
- Share the harvesters and the harvest. A couple of years ago I went raspberry picking with some friends. At the end of the day, we talked about what we had learned. One person mentioned that she found it very hard to leave ripe fruit on the vines and felt she had not done an adequate job unless she had harvested every berry. Then she remembered that she was not the only harvester in the raspberry field that day and it suddenly occurred to her that she needed to leave some of the harvest for those who would come behind her. How often do we feel overwhelmed by the abundance around us because we think it is just for us? Remember you are not the only one called to preach or heal or set people free. Pick only what you can carry, only what you can reasonably consume, only what will not go bad because you have tried to gather too much.
- Pray - As Jesus reminds us we will never see harvesters without prayer. And that again has been my experience this week. Almost before we asked God had prepared an answer and I already have a new assistant to help me in the office.
- Check in: I began with a relaxation exercise like roll breathing that brings to my awareness how I am feeling, from sensations of delight to discomfort, connecting body, breath and heart in the here and now. I found an excellent example recently of a check in breathing exercise in the newsletter of www.abbeyofthearts.com by Christine Valters Painter, who is an expressive arts therapist and writer. In my breathing exercises, I acknowledge my Maker as the giver of life and breath; as the One in whom I live and move and have my being; the Lover of my Soul.
- Awareness and attending: as I became aware of what I was feeling in my body, I followed through with some simple movement that gave expression to what I sensed. For me it was shake like a dog. By the way, this is a natural, healthy response to trauma and a great way to follow through on letting go of challenging events in one’s life.
- Openness to the moment: I had pencils, paper and oil pastels on hand for further expression. I chose to doodle with my non-dominant hand because I find this activity invites openness and engages right brain contemplation. I trusted in the creative process (and the Creator of that process) to take me where I needed to go.
- Dialogue with the image: as the daffodil in hand emerged, I asked the image who are you, what do you need, want, wish, where do you want to go?
- Move it further: an invitation to take what I had drawn back into my body through movement as prayer.
- Reflection: I journaled whatever it was that came to mind and heart. As you can see, I wrote about how I perceived that I was emerging into this world as an embodied prayer, beloved beginner emerging from under a wintry world of late spring.
May all of us remember with love and compassion this day. May we grieve with those who still mourn, And share memories with those who cannot forget. May we draw strength from those who bravely responded, And gave their lives to save others. May we stand with strangers who became neighbours that day, And remember their generosity and hospitality. Above all God may we remember your faithfulness And learn to trust in your unfailing love
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