Wednesday, April 28, 2021
Katie Snipes Lancaster
Scripture: Psalm 37:17
Trust in the Lord and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
Spiritual Practice: Outreach
A dear friend taught me this John Wesley quote:
Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.
For me, Wesley’s words get at both the urgency of outreach and the limits of each human’s ability to do “it all.” There is something balanced here: the repetition of the word “all” pushes us to live into our best selves, not to succumb to sloth or apathy while the word “you” seems to suggest that each of us have our limits, and that when I come to my limit, I know that someone else out there doing all the good they can will pick up where I end and carry the torch for good as far as they can.
At Kenilworth Union, outreach is often defined as our financial and hands on support of agencies beyond the church that do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with the Lord our God. And yet as a spiritual discipline, outreach might mean simply volunteering time and talent for the sake of others, it might mean finding your own ways of doing justice with organizations that help you shine your light in the world, it might mean volunteering at church to soothe the soul of another. It means becoming co-partners in the healing, repairing, mending, and uplifting of the suffering world.
God, the world is full of beauty and suffering in equal measure,
And you call us to be the balm, the hands and feet, the life force for good.
Help us to do all the good we can, in all the ways we can, as long as we ever can.
Let us know our own limits, and yet always reach toward the good you call us toward.
Continue to breathe life into us as we reach out beyond our own insular lives,
To participate in acts of kindness and justice, now and always.