To Be a Diamond
Read Time 5 minutes
My theme today is discipleship. Rolheiser has written on Mature Discipleship https://ronrolheiser.com/the-major-imperatives-within-mature-discipleship/ This is a good read and someday, I hope to be able to say that I can check all of these boxes.
I choose to write about discipleship because of two things. First, Vacation Bible School wrapped up recently with all its joy, music, friendship, and love. VBS is truly a gift to our young people in this parish AND to the volunteers who “man” the stations. We are disciples travelling on a journey together to “The One From Whom we Have Come”. Sometimes people say, “I’d like to get involved but I’m not sure what I can do.” At Vacation Bible School, there is something for everyone! Hanging out with “little people” can be meaningful and exhilarating! And you will be “mind-singing” the tunes for a week after!
Second, some close family members celebrated their diamond wedding anniversary this week. Their marriage has modeled discipleship for the last 60 years: a time of joys and many heartaches; a story of commitment, support, and faith.
When Joe and Alice left the farm, Joe, having been active all his life, really needed a “project.” He began volunteering at The Community Village, an organization which brought several nonprofit organizations together in one location to better serve folks who were possibly low income, or homeless or addicted, or otherwise living on the fringes of society.
The Community Village benefited from his diverse abilities as Jack of All Trades, but that was not the big connection that he brought to the Village. He would visit with various clients about the grounds; some who were homeless, maybe even actively engaged in some level of their addiction. The “guys” were always and forever traipsing off with Joe to help with something he was working on. They loved him and he could get them to do all kinds of projects with him, to stay busy, to feel valued. What he gave to the Village and the people there, is what he gives to many; kindness, compassion, sympathy, and empathy… time… connection.
Alice on the other hand, became a board member, a partner in the dream itself. The dream that there could be a place where people of all walks of lives felt valued and seen, where agencies worked closely together to ensure people didn’t fall through the cracks. Her contributions were calming and stabilizing, and instrumental in moving the project towards its goals. Her gentle warrior spirit looked out for people needing to be cared for through this involvement and also with her family.
It is under high pressure and temperature, that carbon containing fluids dissolves various minerals and transforms them into diamonds. Volcanic eruptions bring their beauty from the deepest mantle of the earth to the surface. Imperfections cause coloration and produce the rarest of diamonds. These “diamonds,” my brother and sister-in-law, have endured the test of pressure and time, have shared with each other their clarity in faith and color in personalities and weathered the tumultuous eruptions which have shattered their lives.
They have endured the tragic loss of both their sons and a grandson, have sheltered their great grandchildren, and been models of discipleship in our family. Our children call them “auntie” and “uncle” but they are really “grandma and grandpa”. They show us the way to live. It is not easy to withstand the eruptions of life and continue to give to those around us. To do so requires true discipleship. So, we don’t need to read books on discipleship to be a disciple. We need to live like Joe and Alice.