Lord make Me an instrument of Your peace
Where there is hatred let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness joy.
O Divine master grant that I may
Not so much seek to be consoled as to console
To be understood, as to understand.
To be loved. as to love
For it’s in giving that we receive
And it’s in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it’s in dying that we are born...
To eternal life.
That is the St. Francis Prayer. While I’m sure I’ve heard it on several occasions, I heard it in a meeting two weeks ago and it resonated with me. 2021 hasn’t been the easiest or the smoothest of years, but it has featured a lot of growth. The line that sticks out more than any in that prayer is when it mentions seeking to console, rather than be consoled…and seek to understand, rather than be understood.
On Thanksgiving Day, I volunteered at St. John Lutheran in Plymouth to serve the “Community Meal.” I was put in charge of the dishwasher. Having never worked in a kitchen or a restaurant, I had no idea those industrial dishwashers even existed, and it was actually really fun to see it in action, cleaning an entire tray of dishes in about 30 seconds.
Working with the other volunteers, seeing the smiles, and serving the meals was exactly what I needed this Thanksgiving. I even shared a meal with a patient of mine—a great person with a great personal story that he shared.
If you’re feeling down and struggling, look to console others and understand others. Make it not about you, but look to help others, and you’ll often find the answers you were looking for. That’s what this season is all about.
And, if you’re looking for some fellowship on Christmas Day, join us at St. John Lutheran on the 25th from noon to 1:30 p.m. I’ll be the one washing the dishes!