Monday, March 13, 2006

Gotta name this group thing

An aside: I've got to find a way to show categories on the blog so I can put these group meeting reflections together in a way they can be found easily. Have looked into for making categories with tags, but don't quite get how to do it. Does anyone know a simple way to do this on Blogger? Thanks for any help.

(IH-3) Last week's group time was a bit of a follow-up to the previous one's theme of being surrounded and the outflow of that--toward others. I had some music and a new article to stimulate discussion. This time, though, two other people also brought music to share. (Hooray!) We celebrated with one person and even did the background vocals (R&B style) as she requested. Fun. Then mellowed it out with a creed in the form of an old Vineyard song for one who just needed to hear that. Some in the group are quick to stop, right now, and pray for the one who is being vulnerable enough to share their pain. So they did.

We read in our article a story of a woman (Sarah) whose faith hit the wall. In frustration she said to God, "Jonah--what was that about? You chase the man down, and you get him swallowed by a fish. He doesn't want to go to Nineveh..." She told God, "Leave Jonah alone, and by the way leave me alone, too." We heard her questioning, her fears, her doubts, and what finally changed as something broke open inside of her. She came to see that she didn't have all the answers and she couldn't always remain safe. She eventually felt God tell her to ask him about Nineveh.

And I thought, Well, Nineveh was an evil place. God continued, And what happens in evil places? I thought, Little girls get abducted from their own stoop. People are awful to each other. There's war and famine. And God said to me, That's why I sent Jonah. I was being personal to a little girl in Nineveh, to a hurting woman there. I was running to their rescue. But I need people to do that. I need you.

Through the painful period of time that this process took, her paradigm of what the kingdom of God is, changed. She sees it now not just in the future, but as a place we are invited to live in the midst of our regular existence. That led her to look for opportunities to be God's hands and feet. She had a profound look at God's provision when she took part in relief efforts in La. after Hurricane Katrina, and often sees stories of redemption because of her involvement with a drug rehab program.

We asked each other, "What turns things around for us?" We came up with several factors having to do with enough pain, time, God's spirit, new understandings of truth in a personal or experiential way, etc.

What causes something to break open inside of you?


Blogger Susan said...

People are usually the catalyst for me. Something they say, do, or don't do. Something that happens to them. Something they write.

I can only go so far by myself, but then a person will cause me to look at things a different way. To see something I didn't see before.

8:45 PM  

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