Come Holy Spirit. Transform us. Transform our community.
This prayer has stayed with me over the last week. I wonder where the Spirit will lead me (us) as we pray these words?
I wonder if I (we) will have the courage to listen, hear, and follow?
Over the weekend I was lucky enough to spend time on retreat with some dear friends. We met while studying theology together. We shared lifts to the station and tips on assessment task readings. We now all work for the church, but with diverse callings. We laugh and cry together, often at the same coffee catch up. These women hold me to account and name grace in my life that I sometimes find difficult to see. These women form my community of the heart: a micro discipleship community. I know I have their ongoing encouragement and support, not only to tell good stories, but to be intimately honest and vulnerable. I know I will receive wisdom from them and listening ears.
Australian theologian Sarah Bachelard writes that “the fundamental practice of spiritual growth is to bring our actual life before God.” When we pray for the coming and transformation of the Holy Spirit, this is what we are doing. We are bringing who we really are before God, trusting that who we are is already enough and that God will work with us and within us. It is when I find it difficult to name and see my real self that I most need my community of the heart. When I find it difficult to believe that this person (me!) is already loved and named and called by God this community remind me that even I am a precious and beloved child. And from this love, I can dare to take courage to keep on praying: Come Holy Spirit. Transform us. Transform our community.
Who are the people who keep remind you that you are loved by God?
Who are the people who will hold your precious vulnerability lightly and return your honesty?
Where is the community which you dare to pray alongside that God would break into your life in new and surprising ways?