Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Pass It On

By Sharon Betts

While my son was growing up there were a group of neighboring boys who bullied him. Irrespective of our efforts at intervening and support, his self-esteem was bruised by their insensitive words and actions. As a young teen, he was invited on an Emmaus Weekend Retreat by someone in our church. When we picked him up that Sunday afternoon he stated, hed had the best time ever! Over the next few days it was noticeable to my husband and I that something had changed. We saw a calm confidence that had become evident in his demeanor. When mentioning our observations, my son replied, at Emmaus I learned a lot about acceptance, character and love. He then reached in
his pocket and pulled out a strip of paper, telling us someone gave him this scripture as a kara gift, just when he really needed it. 

Romans 5:3-5... And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. 

It was 12 years ago the Holy Spirit instilled our son with Hope through the faith community of CT South Central Emmaus. We became adult leaders in this ministry and have witnessed the Holy Spirit work in the hearts and lives of many teens over these years and I pray that Hope continue to be passed on for many years to come! This Advent may I suggest we give out some kara (little gift of love) by printing scripture on slips of paper and pass them on to others while we are out and about throughout this Season...

It was while reading to my youngest, the story of Stella Luna, that he was able to justify in his young mind that I stay awake at night while at work. He was so excited when he shared this complementary realization. Wow mom, you’re just like a fruit bat!  When my girls Rachelle & Carrie were too old (at least in their eyes) to stay with a sitter during the summer, I felt they still needed a bit of supervision. That was when I changed to the night shift at the hospital. The rule was that while I slept they had to stay in the house (without friends) and never knew when I would wake to check on them. As it turned out the routine worked well for our family. My husband Alan, got the kids on the bus in the mornings and I was there to greet them when they got home from school. When their little brother Michael was born, the routine stayed. Twenty-five + years later I’m still working the night shift yet now as a private duty nurse for young children with special needs who require ventilator care or airway protection. I love the fact that my work allows their parents to get some much-needed sleep. Prior to starting my career change while in seminary, I never thought much about what the life routine was like for families with children who have special needs. It took God placing me in the thick of these family’s lives to fully comprehend the complexity. While talking, one mother shared her desire for spiritual nourishment and why she was uncomfortable. As a postulant thru discernment and prayer, I am listening and focusing on coming alongside this community of families as their pastor, priest and teacher sharing the Gospel via a sensory learning worship style that may be conducive to their spiritual needs.

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