Tag Archives: God

A Deeper Yes

Dear Friends,

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a retreat with Nipun Mehta and ServiceSpace.  Here are some reflections on service… especially in terms of moving from obligatory service to that which truly calls us.   

A Deeper Yes

“Just say yes.”

That was my mantra for the ServiceSpace retreat.

I was determined to leave resistance at home and serve with a new level of grace.  I was willing to be called and chosen, shaken and stirred, in whatever way would be most helpful.

That’s why on Saturday morning, when I was summoned to help prepare a feast for 50-plus people, I said “yes.”  I went to the kitchen, found a sharp knife, and stood before a mountain of broccoli.  It was mine.  I was going to scale it like a German Tank.  I would conquer the broccoli and have something to show for my effort.   Tangible results.  Evidence.

I picked up broccoli stalk number one and cut it into bite-sized florets.  I peeled the woody stalk like Nikki taught me.

Then Trishna approached me.

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A Disappointment Isn’t A Disappointment

“Why did I agree to do it?”

I have to go on stage and play a Beethoven Piano Concerto with Orchestra.  There are at least 1,000 people in the audience.  I haven’t played the piano in 30 years.  I will fail.

It’s intermission.

I have 10-minutes to save myself.

I stumble towards another musician backstage, a woman who unlike me actually PLAYS THE FREAKING PIANO.  I ask her to fill in.  She covers her ears, shakes her head and backs away laughing.

Pacing and wringing my hands, I realize the only thing to do is find the conductor.  I have to tell her I can’t perform.   But she’s counting on me.  Disappointing her feels as shameful as public humiliation…. What will I do?

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A Guest Post – The Giving Season – by Jennifer Merlich

Dear Friends,

The Forty-Days-Forty-Gifts project is complete for now!  Many people in our Spiritual Center participated and had great insights on how the process changed them.   I wanted to write about it.  But sometimes I get tired the sound of my voice.  Enter Jennifer Merlich, a talented writer and congregant.  She gave me permission to guest post a a piece from her blog,  Please enjoy her eloquent understanding of the Forty Gifts process.  With love to all! – Bonnie

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I was recently the recipient of an incredible act of anonymous kindness. It came from out of nowhere, at exactly the right time.  The magnitude of the gift moved me to tears, and I was so grateful and profoundly moved by the generosity of my unknown benefactor.  But I was also sure there had been a mistake. In the midst of this beautiful act, I am ashamed to admit that I was momentarily overcome by feelings of unworthiness.  I simply couldn’t believe I was deserving of such radical kindness.  Had I been face to face with my benefactor, I would have given them 100 reasons why they “shouldn’t have”, attempting to convince them that they were wrong about me—that their generosity was misdirected.  Fortunately, I quickly realized that to focus on my feelings of unworthiness would be to dishonor the gift and the beautiful spirit in which it was so lovingly given.

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