Tuesday, March 16, 2010

You are gift-- Wesley Foundation E-letter (Methodist Campus Ministry)

Hey everyone!  Hope you all had a great spring break.  It is good to be back, and I look forward to seeing you this week.  We have some good things going on!


TONIGHT:  Worship at 6:30pm.  Come and be refreshed with God’s Presence!


THURSDAY:  We will talk about Spring Break and think about how God showed up for us during that time!


Now For Sami’s Ramblings About Jesus:


You are gift.  Not you are a gift.  Not you are the gift.  Just simply, you are gift.  English majors are probably going crazy right now at my choice of words.  But there is something power-filled in that statement.  When I hear it, receive it as if spoken to me, it has profound meaning; I am charged by its implications, reverberating against the walls of my soul.  You are gift.


Several things come to mind.  Last week during Spring Break my sweet baby and I went to a continuing education event at Camp Loucon.  Other clergy were gathered there, as well as several facilitators.  Jeremiah entered into this group of twenty five participants, and none of us will ever be the same.  Something about his presence seemed to change the very atmosphere, the air, we all breathed.  Quite literally what it means to come to the Kingdom of God as a child was staring at us wide-eyed and with a toothless grin for three days.  There is something so disarming about a baby.  Weathered pastors, weary from the burdens they left in their churches seemed to breathe easier as they grasped three month old fingers, goo-gooing into three month old eyes, sharing smiles with one that seems to enjoy the Heavenly humor most of us can only guess at.  Something about Jeremiah enjoying us seemed to help us enjoy ourselves, and our loads were lightened.


Since it was too soon to be separated from my new baby for seven days, one of my dear friends who serves on our Board took our students to Louisiana to do hurricane recovery for the week.  They found themselves working on a 100 year old house, in need of repair and restoration.  What a joy it was to hear how our students brought their humor and hard work to a monumental task that would have made experienced contractors weak in the knees.  Originally there was supposed to be another group joining ours on the work site.  They couldn’t make it.  This meant our small group of seven (only two of which were guys) had to tackle the whole thing by themselves.  And they completed the whole thing!  I couldn’t be more proud because I remember my original conversations with the site manager.  I know that their hard work and deep accomplishment took everyone by surprise.  What was more encouraging though was to hear how the lives of those who lived in the house were affected by our small group of students.  My friend said that by the end of the week the gruff residents had mellowed so much.  Who knows what ways that Jesus ministered through the collective example of Mona, Adrian, and our precious students.  Eternity is forever different because five students and a Board member and her husband were simply available to hang drywall and install flooring.


What strikes me is that in the two examples above there was no preaching involved, simply presence.  Somebody showed up.  Somebody entered into the stream of life with others and the course of the river changed.  You may think this is not a big deal, but lately I am staggered by the power of this “no big deal” in my life.  Sunday, March 14th was Joe Winters birthday.  Someone said the word “trajectory” in church, and I sat there thanking God for Joe’s life because that is the word I often associate with him.  Joe married my Mom when I was seven years old.  For thirty years he has been a constant and abiding presence in my life.  He is not someone who preaches.  He doesn’t get overly emotional about stuff.  He is strong, steady, steadfast.  Faithful.  And I know he loves me.  For thirty years he has shown up in my life, simply being present.  And his presence has changed everything, altered the very trajectory that my life was headed, and gave this passionate and tender heart the grounding to stay secure in life’s storms.  I don’t have words to thank God for him.  I just have deep wells of gratitude and love.  Where would my life be today if Joe Winters had not entered into its stream?  Where would the course of the river have taken me if a steady hand had not been there to guide it to good places?  This ordinary miracle of somebody’s presence has made a heavenly difference, without even trying to. 


So what I say to you (and to me) is that you are gift.  Your life has profound meaning.  Just showing up where you are makes a difference that you cannot comprehend.  And God who gave you as gift gives to those around you in ways you cannot imagine.  So live this day with gratitude, thankful for those gifts who have graced your life, and confident that your life too is gift given.


This is me trusting,




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Sami Wilson

Campus Minister/Director

WKU Wesley Foundation

United Methodist Campus Ministry




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