Thursday, December 15, 2011

What you may or may not have missed

I hope you were there, but if you weren't, the L'Arche Christmas Pageant this year was as beautiful as ever. Joseph and Mary arrived with the donkey attached to the back of Joseph's wheelchair. He was a very proud father, and gratefully thanked participants who came to the manger to leave gifts (food bank donations) for baby Jesus. Mary was delighted with her little baby, played by the twin six-month old sons of one of our assistants. Mary held on to Jesus, made faces at him, talked quietly to him, and completely enjoyed him as we sang carols and watched the shepherds, angels and magi play their roles in the ancient story. And Jesus watched Mary, yawned, closed his eyes for a few minutes' snooze, and fed from a bottle Mary offered him. The music was wonderful, and the gentle gifts of presence, acceptance and love offered by our people with disabilities filled the room with the incredible spirit of Christmas.

Today, my inbox received the following reflection:

Many people in L'Arche are close to God, and yet they are so little and poor. They have known rejection and have suffered a great deal. I am always moved as I hear them speak of God. When somebody asked one of our men, Peter, if he liked to pray, he said that he did. So the person continued and asked him what he did when he prayed. He replied: “I listen.” Then the person asked what God says to him. Peter, a man with Down`s Syndrome, looked up and said: “He just says, 'You are my beloved son.'
-- Jean Vanier, From Brokenness to Community, p. 23.

This pretty much sums up why I love L'Arche so much. It's a community that understands, from deep within, that, no matter our abilities or disabilities, we are all beloved by God.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Take a minute and tell me what you think...