I had the closing devotional for my Community of Hope training last night, and I had fretted for a week about what I would do for the devotional, but it went very well...so let me backtrack in time...
A few weeks ago a friend had loaned me her CD of Deepak Chopra's "The Soul of Healing Meditations" and the two that really held me and were the "Heart Meditation" and the "Heart Sutra Meditation". The "Heart Meditation" is about forgiving and letting go of grievances and instead choosing miracles, but two things pulsated for me here and that is that my heart can't feel loved(d) if I'm holding onto all this emotional caca so acknowledge it, let it go, and recognize the beauty instead. The other thing was the beauty of the words themselves and the singing (in a language I don't know), and the words that would plant a tiny seed within were "forgive us our trespasses".
Around this same time I was roaming the CD towers looking for something I hadn't listened to in awhile and decided upon Natalie Merchant's "Ophelia". It'd been a long time since I'd listened to it, but when I listened to the whole thing, it was like Wow this is so incredibly spirtual. Why hadn't I acknowledged that before? Hmmm, anyways, track 3 is "Kind & Generous" and I must of played it 4 times in a row chanting "Thank You Thank You...Thank You Thank You".
So what does this all have to do with Evening Devotionals, well "Heart Meditation" and "Kind & Generous" became the central theme if you will. But I had no opening prayer nor an ending prayer. I didn't have my opening prayer until Sunday during Sunday School class which was an excerpt form Henri J.M. Nouwen's book "Life of the Beloved" I want to save the excerpt I used for my next post; otherwise, this post will become much longer and even more jumbled. My closing prayer was decided upon Monday morning - talk about cutting it close - but it was the prayer "For Wise Use of Talents" from the Occassional Services, Augsburg, 1982, p.148.
...Last night...I was really worried about whether or not the group would like the Evening Devotional that I had the hardest time sitting still. I kept getting agrivated with myself because I was aggitated for all the wrong reasons: will they like it, will they like me, will they notice how great I am, ugh. All that worrying and for nothing, because it wouldn't have matter, because what was and is important is that we're together learning and sharing and growing with one another.
I think another reason I was worried is because I do appreciate the people in my group and I wanted to give something special to them as my way of saying without saying "Hey, you know what guys, I think each and everyone one of you is special and I care a great deal about each of you, and I hope y'all can see it (well hear it) through what I've put together for the Evening Devotional."